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In 2008, Social Networks will become mobile

I was introduced to Devin Holloway a couple of days ago, virtually.  Mark Mayhew suggested we connect, because he thought that Devin's prognostications for social technology in 2008 would be of interest.  He's got a keen eye, that Mark. 

Devin's point boils down to this:

  • Google is getting into telecom.
  • Telecom services can now be effectively monetized through advertising. He cites Fluc and Pudding; I'd also 4INFO.
  • Mobile handsets are becoming contextually aware and presence enabled.
  • As a result: mobile phones will replace social networks, as we know them today. 

He finishes with:

We have presence on the mobile phone, and the mobile phone learns about what, when, why, how, and with whom I do what I do. Are you following, because this is a huge point? At this point my mobile becomes the absolute best measurer and indicator of my very human behavior. As soon as I have a facebook-like news feed for my buddy list (read: presence) on my mobile phone I no longer need to maintain any presence on a walled-in-garden-of-a-site like _________ (enter your SoNet of choice).

The mobile phone is now king of the SoNets. facebook and everyone else better get really good at developing applications for Android to enable user communication across the mobile phone platform or they will just be a footnote in Wikipedia.

I'm not sure I agree with the conclusion that Android will be the social network of the future.  At the very least, the immense volume of handsets that Nokia currently ships coupled with Nokia's own publicly stated interest in social networking on their handsets will make it a tough battle.  And don't count Facebook out now that there is a native Facebook application for blackberry, and a native Facebook SDK for Windows Mobile.

Nevertheless, mobile presence will be a very large factor in the near future.  The only thing that might prevent that from happening would be backward carriers attempts to trap presence within their own walled garden; the cellular network.

Nice to meet you Devin, and your appropriately named blog http://nost.radam.us.

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • devin c holloway January 1, 2008, 3:37 pm

    Alec, thank you.

    As for your stance on my conclusion, you make some very good points. I really like the native facebook app for the bberry, for example.

    For clarification, I don't necessarily think that Android will be the SoNet of the future, rather, I think in the immediate future it may be the biggest platform upon which applications to facilitate social networking are built.

    This theory goes hand-in-hand with my belief that eventually 'the network' (i.e. the entire Internet) is going to be the SoNet, and not individual sites or applications. You're right in pointing out what you did because obviously I could clarify my thoughts on this subject a little better.

    And let's make sure the "backward carriers" don't prevail. I'm glad you pointed that out, too. Collectively we can have a big impact on the future of social networking, so long as we work together.

    Cheers – Devin

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