The holy grail of the private and live moment

Last year I wrote a blog here on ‘the holy grail of the private moment‘. The thoughts were triggered by the smart decisions in the design of Taptalk. I see a similar thing happening with the new flow of live streaming apps that was hyped with Meerkat at SXSW and is now taking over by Periscope, the tool Twitter introduced yesterday earlier than planned (although it could be a smart strategy as well to let the hype grow via a new app and a quick overtake as soon as people start picking up the behaviour).

Both Live Experience tools are based on an integration with Twitter, and both work with the concept of sharing live streaming video on the very moment of happening. The trends is broader than those two (and there is a third one: Hang w/), Snapchat is having a comparable promise with their stories that remains visible for 24 hours. And also the ubiquitous dashcams in Russia that are spreading is part of the trend towards continuous close-by sharing.

The private and exclusive experience is as important to the love for these services as the live aspect of the video is. It is interesting that Meerkat and Periscope has a different approach in offering that private feel. With Periscope you can choose to share only to selected people. This has huge potential and could be well be the template for all other private messaging services to add video in the same manner. Think Whatsapp adding live sharing video.

Meerkat create the private feeling in much more subtle manner. And probably not even on purpose. By chosing to make the app very rudimental and embed it in your personal Twitter-graph is feels in all aspects as a private party you join as soon you enter the stream. By not showing active live streams outside your own group of contacts and also show only the streams as they are live, exclusivity is raised. And above all, the streams are just as private as the real thing. It is over as it is over. No life caching, just experiencing the moment.

I think Meerkat has with that deep connection to the actual thing a much better experience. I hope it will keep this strategy and will not be tempted to add extra functions that break that down. If Twitter and Periscope play it well they can extend the private video sharing into a more private messaging system.

Setting of the social layer

A lot is said on the possible future of Google+. It seems hard to add a lot to it. On the other hand, we can now see the dust come down a bit and see where it could heading. Possibly it will turn out to be rather different, but well, lets share some thoughts here, based on some deeper drivers that emerges.

Social is becoming a natural part of all services and products that are designed now and in the coming future. In that sense I agree on the views of Roger McNamee. The talk is highly quoted as “social is over”, but that is not the right sentiment. Social is not over, social is not a separate entity anymore, it has become part of everything. That is exactly what we see in the business context happening; social as mean to get in touch with your clients and build on trust and activation is now becoming running business.

We mature in our use of online relations. We see that people, youngsters up front, are becoming professional in the dividing our sharing habits to different levels of online relations. We understand that not everyone is attached the same and it to trust. The rise of private networks is a clear sign, as is the use of private functions in existing networks like groups of closed accounts in Twitter.

The way we communicate is also going to a new phase. We are more selective in sending out and receiving anonymous messages, and we have built a layered messaging habit with private chats in realtime, private messaging to people in our own network and publishing opinions to shape our personal brand.

These three elements are happening for some time now. The existing social platforms (Twitter and Facebook as most important ones) are continuous trying to redesign and introducing new functions to address this developments. And you see that Google+ is using its advantage to start from scratch building up this new social layer and revamping the existing services.

In that, Google could really leverage from the existing fundaments. The hardest part will be to keep focus on the essence of these elements in rolling out the new Google of the second decade, always the hardest part to migrate from existing products.
But the other platforms have even a harder job there of course. Facebook will try to catch up with an enhanced friend listing system. Twitter will bring more coherence in the lists and private accounts.

The coming year, or maybe better; half a year, the different platforms will stand next to each other and creating somewhat sharper profiles. Facebook will be (stay) the private friends network for the masses to share thoughts with friends and find nice stuff for your day to day life. The messaging center will be better organized and extended, maybe even with a simple calendar for instance, to fit all the needs for your private communications.
Twitter will remain and become even more the platform for the latest news, realtime sharing of events with impact, from incidents to big live events in real or on TV for instance. It will be more and more the platform for ad hoc and topic related communications and losing the day to day hangout function.
Google+ will become the serious and professional thoughts-sharing platform. What Twitter was the first years. But also integrating services like Quora. If you are looking for information and advice on stuff Google+ will be your source. It will take that role from Twitter, and it will also take a part of the hangout function dividing it with Facebook.

In the meanwhile the battlefield of the platforms is going on, on the deeper level. Who will be building the best functioning social layer. Facebook have an advantage with the Like and Connect system, but Google has its search-profiles and can grow easily in a social backbone too. If Twitter can team up with Apple it will be a serious competitor in that field too.

When the platforms are closing by creating their dominant profile platforms the challenge (still) will be for businesses to get in touch with the customers. Be part of the conversation is essential for a modern organization, and they have to be present on different platforms. The way the platforms will service that need in respect of the user, will define the shape of the social layer in the coming years.

Tipping of the social graph

This might sounds strange. What is new about talking on the social graph? Well I think there are some interesting developments that can trigger serious steps in the functional use of the social graph.

Interesting for instance is the new function Twitter introduced this week: suggesting friends. For Twitter this is the first service they create out of the knowledge on their profiles. A lot of third parties did stuff before, but you can expect that Twitter should have some advantage with their access to the whole database.

Another interesting new service is that of the Flipboard app on the iPad. A lot is said on that already, but it has certainly a connection to this theme. Flipboard is creating a social magazine out of Facebook and Twitter streams, which is already exciting. I’m still wondering if they do any kind of analysis of my social graphs. It seems so, because I get more stuff than just my stream. I think this will be only more soon.

Of course Facebook and Google are both putting a lot of effort in building the social graph and trying to connect it to our use. The battle of the social graph has just begun. Google seems to place some bets (amongst others) on the social TV experience by making Google TV, while Facebook is about to introduce some location stuff that will shake that market. And Facebook also created their search competitor with their question based service that can benefit highly of the social graph.

The tipping point for the social graph will be in these kind of functional services that are created. You can expect only to see more of this on both sides of the medal: trying to enrich the social graph by connecting it to popular services, and on the other hand popping up of services that use the social graph.

Twitter in a singularity ecosystem

This weekend there was an interesting conference in New York on the concept of singularity. I did not attend the conference, but read some reports on it. The whole idea of singularity, where the power of computer intelligence is heading up or even overtaking our own intelligence, is something I think is surely a trend that can emerge. In a way it is here already as conversational tools like Twitter will take a stronger role to connect all parts of the ecosystem we live in.
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Return of the flashmob as driver closed grouping

Today we had a flashmob hype in Amsterdam. The successful Stockholm Michael Jackson contributing flashmob was the inspiration for this event. However the flashmob generated lots of attention and a lot of people had a great day in preparation and executing, the flashmob failed in my opinion. The basic idea of a flashmob is to surprise a ignorant crowd by a orchestrated action done by a view. This one was the opposite. But unless the failure it could be seen as a driver for some interesting trends. Some thoughts…
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The next ubiquitous services

In an article of Winston Ross which he wrote for Newsweek (but wasn’t published) I found some interesting teasing quotes. The article itself asks the question what the next Twitter will be. That is a question that is often asked, but in essence not relevant. What is interesting however, is one of the subquestions that emerges: which are the services that will be unmissable, that will be part of our daily routine and become ubiquitous.
Continue reading The next ubiquitous services

Onbalans in communities

Jeroen Mirck postte gisteren hoe hij zijn Twitter-koppeling met de wie-wat-waar-functie van Hyves heeft uitgezet omdat hij klachten kreeg over het vervuilen door zijn tweets. Omdat hij relatief zoveel twittert worden de overzichten van hyves-vrienden ondergesneeuwd door zijn tweets.

Ik heb ditzelfde signaal weleens gehad. Niet in Hyves, maar in Plaxo. Ik word regelmatig aangesproken door niet twitterrelaties die mijn tweets in Plaxo zien, waarbij vaak gekscherend wordt gezegd dat die wel heel dominant zijn. Nog niet tot directe klachten gekomen, maar ik maar besloten preventief te handelen. 

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