The future is all about mobility, or more specifically, social mobility. It seems that the once crowned king of all social media Facebook may have finally met its match with the still infant Google +. Launched during the first week of summer 2011 as a then ‘invitation only,’ overwhelming public demand has quickly transformed Google + into a 62 million member network that anyone can join, sans the invite.
With an estimated 625,000 new users signing up each day, (an astonishing 24% joined in December 2011 alone) some industry experts are predicting nearly 400 million Google + members by the end of 2012. And just to put that into perspective, it took Facebook approximately 7 years, from 2004 on, to reach its current plateau of 800 million.
It would appear that a sort of David VS. Goliath-type clash is beginning to take shape in the arena of social network management. Will Google +’s ‘Circles,’ ‘Hangouts’ and ‘Sparks’ be enough of a draw to woe folks away from Facebook’s tried-and-true features like pokes, likes, and shares? In this type of battle though, trying to predict the winner is really anyone’s guess, at least at this early stage of the contest. I mean, remember when Myspace was all the rage? Right, neither do I.
There’s another powerful player in the always shifting field of mobilized social technology that wants in on the fight too: Apple. A mere few weeks before Google + got underway back on June 28th, Apple launched ICloud. Replacing its MobileMe service, ICloud will act as a data syncing center for email, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, notes, to-do lists, and other social-related data.
iCloud will automatically keep all your devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac or PC) fully up to date, representing the future of data storage and transfer that will revolutionize the way we use our computerized devices, enabling all information and data to be accessed from any device, any time, any where. In the past the home computer was the axis of everything. It’s where music was downloaded, email was accessed, the web was surfed and so on. Those days are looking rather ancient . . .
With the advent of internet phones, iPod touch and of course the iPad, the stationary computer’s role has been significantly diminished over the last several years. We can now perform most of the tasks we used to use our immobile computer for on our tinier, more compact, mobile phone or iPad. Now that’s mobility.
Like I said earlier, it’s way too early in the game to start guessing who’s going to trump whom, which feature or device is going to become the next big thing, or what application is going to forever alter the way we live our lives. The only thing I know at this moment is that 2012 is poised to be a revolutionary year marked by major changes within the social mobility ecosystem.