You really need to read Martin Geddes’ Instant Mess.Â He expertly skewers mobile presence by talking about how translating IM to the mobile world won’t work.Â
The presence model of mobile IM is broken anyway, becuase it confuses presence with availability. Iâ€™m not the first to note that an always-on mobile means the green smiley â€œonlineâ€ becomes irrelevant. If you take presence to mean â€œthe sense of otherâ€ (thanks, Douglas) then the kids are already are engaged in deep presence exchange under the duvet at night by texting away. The stored â€œpreciousâ€ SMS from the boy you have a crush on is presence. Donâ€™t let the technologists near this social phenomenon! They donâ€™t get it, all they see is information transfers. A â€œunified messaging clientâ€ is an oxymoron. Itâ€™s like putting a toilet and paddling pool in the kitchen because itâ€™s the â€œwater roomâ€.
He tells carriers to focus on making SMS great, and price it to compete with IM over GPRS.Â If you misprice the bundle, the customer will switch.Â Get the pricing right, and SMS will be a much better experience than mobile IM.
Meanwhile, at iotum we’ll continue to focus on a next generation of presence that will work in the mobile space.Â