Saturday, July 24, 2010

Welcome to the Social Networking Paradigm Shift.

The term “Paradigm Shift” is considered a change in a fundamental model of events, or to describe a change in basic assumptions.

social-networking-logos3With the advent of many powerful and popular phones on the market today, we are becoming more and more connected to one another.   The Motorola Droid X and iPhone 4 have just hit the market within the last 3 weeks of this writing.  New Android phones are on the verge of release over the course of the next couple of months.  The iPad is revolutionizing the way we view mobile internet connectivity.  We are seeing a deluge of new products aimed at keep us connected to multimedia, entertainment, news, games, and our friends.  Cell phones that are comparably more powerful than laptops released even 5 years ago.  Tablet devices that keep use connected in a method we are used to, sans keyboard.  Are we looking at a new Social Networking Paradigm where Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and even Microsoft’s MSN MSN LiveYahoo and Google will have to evolve and adapt?

I have a Motorola Droid, and I did an article a few weeks back about how I feel more socially connected to my friends and family, and other things, thanks to my phone.  However, interestingly, we are still connecting to the full power of social networks via our laptops and desktops.  We are not getting the full weight of social networking on our Droids, iPhones, and Blackberries.

Google has already shown movements to this new paradigm.  The Android platform integrates Google’s Search, Contacts, Gmail, Maps, and YouTube into a single package.  Of course, there are a few things missing, like a proper Orkut support, and Docs support.

Facebook, MySpace and Twitter have created some extremely good mobile apps that help keep users connected, but Facebook’s and MySpace’s apps both feel a little short on the stick when considering connectivity.  Other social networking sites are jumping onboard as well, such as MyYearbook, and dating site OKcupid.  Twitter, which was designed to utilize mobile social networking is really seemingly showing everyone how it is done, albeit needing a bit better integration with Photos and Videos (read my article on that).

Google could very well be the forerunner in the new age of Social Networking, defining the Paradigm Shift.  Google has the tools to do so.  They have THE mobile platform that is taking everyone by storm.  They have the cloud platform that everyone is shifting to.  Google has the ability.  To keep up, Facebook, MySpace and other social sites will have to create apps that integrate with the phone they are on.  Apple doesn’t like allowing this type of connectivity, which is why the Android platform may become the Social Networking user’s best friend.  Yahoo and Google Talk already are integrated in the sense that if you have a friends Yahoo and Google Talk usernames listed as Messenger contacts, you can click their name and beginning chatting instantly.  Facebook integrates current status’s into Contacts, and Twitter does the same with recent tweets (did, perhaps a broken feature?).

The phone has always been the device that kept friends and family connected.  The internet brought us all closer with IM, email and the ability to share photos and videos easily.  Today’s smartphones combine all of these into one, small, portable, package that fits inside of our pockets.

Welcome to the Social Networking Paradigm Shift.

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