Coca-Cola is to launch a social-networking service similar to MySpace and Facebook.

Coca-Cola will set up the mobile-only network under its Sprite brand where users can make friends, set up profiles and post images.

The Sprite Yard service was launched in China on 1 June and will be made available to WAP-enabled phones on 22 June in the US. Coca-Cola is looking into expanding it into other regions such as the UK and Latin Americas.

Visitones, visual ringtones combining music with visuals, and animated shorts will also be used to promote the Sprite brand. Users will be able to access this content by entering a code found on the cap of Sprite bottles.

Space is hugely successful on the internet with millions accessing the site on their Pcs. However it is not so easily viewed on mobile devices. Coca-Cola hopes to tailor its content to make it clearer to view on small mobile screens and cope with lower memory capabilities of the devices.

"Sprite is the first beverage brand to enable a mobile experience combining such a rich combination of features and functions," said Mark Greatrex, senior vice president, marketing communications and insights at Coca-Cola.

"We know that when it comes to reaching teens, mobile is the medium. This program will enable us to connect with teens by putting Sprite both in their hand and in their phone," adds Denis Sison, Sprite global brand director at Coca-Cola.

The company has also been in discussions with Facebook concerning enhancing the service through plug-ins and applications and a possible collaboration.

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