An application has been developed for MySpace that enables people to recharge their pre-paid mobile phone credit.

More than 5,000 people had already installed the application, half of them customers of Optus.

The development of such an app puts the social networking website in the running to gain a new source of e-commerce and advertising revenue.

But concerns have been raised that the recharge application could contravene privacy laws as it effectively allows mobile carriers to get the personal details of users from their public profiles for use in marketing programs.

The concerns lie in data being used to help carriers (or other brands) target marketing campaigns more effectively.

MySpace business development director Nick Love indicates the social networking site will receive a commission from sales associated with the application.

“(Up to) 70% of Australian mobile (users) are pre-paid. But just selling pre-paid credit is never going to move the needle in any great way. What is unique is its integrated into a telcos customer relationship marketing – all of a sudden we have insights into what the Optus pre-paid customer is like,” says Love.

According to Love, the concept could also be extended to cross-sell pre-paid wireless broadband and mobile data packs, as well as being extended to third-party brands.

So far the program only used the public data on users profiles and did not allow telcos to match individuals to personal details in breach of privacy laws.

“If the reward is relevant (to a MySpace user), I dont think they’ll mind as long as were not doing (the targeting) to an individual level,” asserts Love.