World going app again

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Those who know how world has been prior to web era, knows what we call applications and software or programs used to be desktop based or native applications. Count in all multimedia, productivity etc type of program/software for consumers and business applications in Windows, Mac or Linux machines.

Then came web revolution as we advanced to web 2.0 standard. Everyone were talking about web and building stuffs on web. Internet connectivity and bandwidth kept increasing and online HD video as well online gaming began to be common. Companies started writing online software and SAAS.  Even for consumer, more and more web apps kept coming.  It was generally believed that web is everything. People even used personal task management tool or personal finance tool that was on web. People were reading news online, watching videos, movies and TV online.

But But But.. Mobile is the new thing right ?

With iPhone boom post 2007, mobile apps became new phenomenon in computing world. Millions of mobile devices started being sold. Android made smartphones a reality for even common people in developing economies. Usage of mobile devices  suddenly rose to be significant to be compared to web usage which can be seen here and here. Mobile apps were becoming rage. Many individual mobile apps producing companies and startups  stood as tall as multi million dollar software enterprise.

Same people who were using web based tool for personal task and information management now started using some mobile app on their smartphone or tablet for those purposes. Same with watching videos or movies or reading news. People who were doing social networking online, now uses twitter and facebook mobile apps more than online version. Ask why ? the answer is “Experience”. The experience associated with mobile devices app is far better than even a web app cleverly built using  HTML 5 and fancy JS. Most web apps and SAAS now has their own or are thinking to building one.  “Experience” is one compelling reason.

Following are some advantages of mobile apps (May be more, but I am caring to mention these only):

  • UX is better on mobile devices. Count in touch experience and transition fx etc.
  • Data is persistent as its native app.  Interaction session is handled better.
  • Mobile apps are more snappier even if it has to connect to some web endpoint for data , as it need not to  load all UI part and HTML/css/js needed to render a web page.
  • Graphic has no limitation. You can leverage native OS capabilities rather than being limited HTML 5 (Yes HTML 5 can do lot but still limited compared to what native SDK can allow)

Billions of mobile devices will still be sold and as platform like Windows 8 taking mobile devices to next level of productivity and performance, more and more web app will be converted in mobile app and new apps will be introduced. And after all advancement in technology like cloud is as much relevant to mobile apps as it is to web apps.  So mobile apps are going to be what people use more than web apps.

The same world which went  web couple of year ago, is now going app. Although it would too early to say, after 2x or 10x advancement in web standards,   kinds of web apps could become possible that can give same level of experience as mobile app is giving right now and world  will start going web once again. ( are we talking Chrome OS ?)

Is facebook done ?

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Facebook has done lot since its birth. Everyone knows. It tapped a whole new side of web.  A social web.  Its social network. It has communication hub for people. It’s the biggest structured source of information and method of information discovery.  It has millions of users it needed. It has the control of information it needed to be strongest social platform (I think its no more just social network. Its “platform” that makes other web and mobile apps social). It powers thousands web apps and mobile apps with its social APIs. Without discussing what facebook has done thus far much, I would like to talk about what lies ahead for Facebook. What Facebook can look at ?

 

Search Engine:

Looking at the position Facebook is at now, It is not surprising if Facebook want to do search engine. Facebook is best positioned give blow to Google and knock out its monopoly business. Facebook now deals with petabyes of information related to user’s behavior on information consumption. It has capability to process such large data and has built analytic engine on top of this data. So there’s no doubt about technological competency to build search engine given that its still $70bn company. It has highest average time per user. It can certainly leverage its traffic if it has search engine.  It already has mammoth of data about places, events, people, topics (Fb Pages). It can leverage it to deliver search result may be even better than Google.

 

Video :

Coming up with search engine still takes years but I wonder why facebook still don’t have video site (yes like youtube). Youtube is world’s #2 search engine. It served 1 trillion views in 2011. According to Google’s own Youtube statistics , 500 years of videos are watched every single day on Facebook. Facebook is major source for youtube. Facebook could leverage its position as leading social network to create Youtube competitor. And from how I see it, uploading/sharing/commenting/discovering video right from Facebook would be more better.

 

Mobile:

As I wrote in past blog post, mobile usage is growing sharply and in  USA, mobile usage for fb is higher than web usage already. Facebook should have some strategy there. Only serving users with social networking doesn’t help. There should clear monetization on stuff you do.  With efforts like this, Facebook is already on its way for grabbing its share in mobile space.

Zuck is smart guy. He must be up for something crazy. Hope there’s lot more to come from facebook. Hope it’s not over yet. Good luck zuck !!  🙂