Itâs not just the corridors of Hotmailâs and Googleâs HQs that would have felt as grey as Mark Zuckerbergâs t-shirt as he announced the launch of Facebookâs messaging system recently. I doubt mobile operators like Verizon and Orange would have been jumping for joy either. The likes of Google, Apple and Facebook are innovating like crazy and giving mobile operators a lot to think about as they become increasingly rich communication platforms.
Not that it should come as a surprise. When Apple launched the first iPhone in 2007, you could almost hear the huff of traditional mobile purists. Then came Google with Android, and now Facebook has become the latest tech company to join the telecoms party, first with its Skype voice integration and then with its fancy new messaging system which allows you to seamlessly communicate via text, email or phone. “We don’t think that a modern messaging system is going to be email,â Zuckerberg told reporters in San Francisco as he launched his new messaging toy.
Heâs right. Itâs bigger than that. Itâs about controlling the conversation, across multiple devices and platforms. And every time one of Facebookâs 500 million users pushes the Skype button to make a call or send a message, Facebook jumps further into the communications space for the hearts, minds and profits of telco subscriber bases. If mobile operators want to stop waves of customers going to broadband-enabled services, they need to knock their heads together and have a clear strategy for 4G innovation and communication so they can win over Joe â or indeed Josephine â Public.
Which brings me nicely to the Women in Mobile Data (WiMD) whoâll be holding their annual Christmas lunch in London on December 3. It features a discussion from Eden Zoller, principal analyst with Ovumâs telecoms consumer practice, on the rise and impact on mobile of adjacent technology players like Google and Facebook. If you happen to be passing through London and are interested in attending just go to http://www.amiando.com/WiMDXmas10.html to sign yourself up. Men are welcome too and there will be a lovely Christmas dinner to boot.