Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Is Google Wave Social Enough To Challenge Facebook, Twitter?

Social is central to Facebook. A different kind of social is central to Twitter. But if Google Wave is going to be a mere appendage to the larger Google offerings, social is going to be peripheral. But Google is not trying to enmesh Google Wave to the rest of its offerings. If anything I get the impression Google is working hard to release the pigeon. Fly, pigeon, fly.

Google Wave wants to be fundamental to the web experience like Google Search has been fundamental to the web experience. The word wave is going to become like the word tweet, like the word stream. I like the water metaphors. Water is my favorite substance. Water best represents the inherent formlessness of a nimble mind.

So is a stand alone Google Wave capable of challenging Facebook and Twitter? I am not worried about the stand alone part. Google could not have kept Android in-house like Microsoft has kept Windows in-house. Google Wave is a creature of the wild west. It can not be kept in-house. But releasing the pigeon is also the best possible business decision for Google the company. A vibrant Google Wave will expand the Google space. A vibrant Android is going to vastly expand the Google space. A larger cloud, a more happening cloud just gives more and more room to Google ads. And that is where the money is for Google. Giving away is great business practice. Giving away is tens of billions in new dollars.

So does Google Wave stand to challenge Facebook and Twitter, the two services that seemed to have stolen the buzz from Google these past few years? The short answer is Google Wave is the next big thing.

Stream 2.0: The Next Big Thing?
Fractals: Apple, Windows 95, Netscape, Google, Facebook, Twitter
The Search Results, The Links, The Inbox, The Stream

Just like Twitter stole the buzz from Facebook, Google Wave is going to steal the buzz from Twitter. Twitter will still be around like Facebook is still around and growing, but the sexy glow is going to shift over to Google Wave.

The question again pops up: so, what's the next big thing after Wave? The next big thing after Wave might no longer be in that 2D space occupied by Google, Facebook, Twitter and Wave. (Google's Newest Venture: Google Ventures) Wave attempts something that is very close to face to face communication. Maybe the next, next big thing is face time itself. Maybe the next, next, next big thing is not in the technological realm, but in the human realm.

Or maybe I am a little premature in my declaration. If the next thing after the stream was the wave, maybe the next thing after the wave will be the tsunami. (Of Waves And Tsunamis) Tsunami might be a technological development. We might realize when a million or 10 million - or a hundred million Chinese - create waves, we end up with a tsunami, and that tsunami can not be intelligently handled by the current wave technology, it needs a whole new set of tools and massive, new capabilities. The sum is not the whole of the parts. The sum is a whole new reality. A cell is made up of atoms, but a cell is a new level of reality.

A Web 3.0 Manifesto

Twitter has been more interesting to me than Facebook for months now. I was up at 1500 friends at Facebook and Facebook went ahead and deleted my account. I created a new one. I have less than 600 friends now with about 70 friend requests I have not approved.

My number one urge at Facebook was I wanted to say hello to people I had not met, but wanted to say hello to. I wanted to meet new people. But I kept hitting glass walls and ceilings.

At Twitter meeting new people is all the rage. That is why I like Twitter so much.

You create a wave by inviting people, so you start out by limiting yourself to people you already know. But person A knows person B knows person C knows person D, but person A does not know C and D. So a wave can be created with a group of people who don't all know each other. And ultimately a wave can be published like a blog post. At that point anyone can participate, not necessarily in the same wave, but there are comments sections, you can link to a wave, you can quote from it.

Twitter was an answer to a major gripe I had with Facebook. Why can't I meet new people? Wave might be an answer to my other Facebook gripe. Why can't I deepen my relationship with my existing friends? A wave lets you deepen your understanding of people around you. Conversations and collaborations like never before become possible.

Of course the wave is social. So if the wave is social and if it is the next big thing after Facebook and Twitter, does it stand to challenge Facebook and Twitter?


Real Time Search: Twitter Is Not Doing It
Google Falling Behind Twitter?
Eminem: The Relapse: Twitter
Facebook's Ad Space Is Different
Facebook Faceoff Firefox
What Should Facebook Do
TweetDeck, Power Twitter, Twitter Globe, Better Than Facebook

I am not predicting the death of Facebook, I am not predicting the death of Twitter. But the two have just been told they are but niche products. Ultimately all products are but niche products.

Of Waves And Tsunamis
Google Wave: Wave Of The Future?
Google Wave: If Email Were Invented Today

From The Google Blogs

Google Wave team heads to Google Developer Days in Asia
Introducing the Google Wave APIs: what can you build?
Went Walkabout. Brought back Google Wave.
Search billions of documents with the Google Search Appliance 6.0
The Local Business Center dashboard opens its doors
Blog search and beyond
The Day in the Cloud Challenge featuring Google Apps on June 24th
Search engineer stories
Kicking off 2nd annual Google I/O developer gathering
New Logo Look
Netlog integrates with Google Friend Connect
Put the pedal to the metal with a faster Google Chrome

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments: