A stat that caught my eye was that every 8th minute on the internet is spent of Facebook. Increasingly, Facebook is becoming the connective tissue between users, websites and apps, and the social circles.
Facebook is increasingly becoming the sort-of web equivalent of an operating system, including its own application platform. This whole web OS thing seemed like it was going to be Google’s role, but right now, Facebook seems to be making bigger strides.
To take it a notch higher, Facebook intends on becoming more of a mobile platform, and not just an app or service. Towards this Facebook has acquired the HTML5 “app delivery network” Strobe. To have maximum value, Facebook needs companies building on top of it in mobile the way they do on the desktop web.
In doing this now, Facebook can have the effect of running both Google and Micrsoft obsolete.The more that Facebook and the Mobile web consume the user’s time, attention, and effort for communication and entertainment, the less will be the need to be using a device that runs Windows, which is the old way of organizing apps and web resources. In other words, Facebook is actively making Windows irrelevant.
Google with its Android platform is the next stop for Facebook. Whether it acquires WebOS as its medium for challenging Android or build its own platform on the Android, Facebook has the capacity of taking weaning users away from Android. And Facebook has decent enough traction amongst device makers, app makers and others in the eco-ssystem to give Android a run for its money.
This also takes Facebook a step further from challenging Apple at its turf. Presently, Apple makes money from selling hardware — iPhones, iPads, Macs, and iPads. All those apps — including Facebook, the most popular iPhone app of all — are there to grease the wheels and sell more hardware. Facebook is currently not in the business of hardware but all this then takes it to a position, where the next step could be making own hardware and voila! we have a direct Apple competitor.
One of my oft reservations about G+ and after its initial success has been the lack of games. Games have been have been huge sticking pads for Social networking sites such as Facebook. It increases the user time spent on the site and gives that much bigger a window for more ads to be served to the consumers.
With respect to that, Google+’s move into gaming should be a scare to both Facebook and Apple, the two leading next generation gaming platforms. Not with-standing the early success of Google+ and the fact that Google+ could use Google’s portfolio of internet based applications and services over the Gaming domain for more relevant and pertinent targeting, there are other factors that make Google+’s venture into gaming a point of discontinuity
1.Google is attempting to break today’s 30 percent cut that has become standard across both Facebook and Apple. Google will share 95 percent of the revenue from virtual goods sold with the developers and keep only five percent for itself.
2.Google is also interested in allowing games to be played cross-platform, meaning a person could pause their game on the Web and then pick back up in the same place on their phone. If Google+ games could run through the browser on the iPhone or iPad, it could undercut Apple on its own device.In that scenario, consumers would have to find a compelling reason to switch from playing games that are downloaded through the App Store to playing games through a Google+ experience.
3. Google’s partnership with Adobe will be a critical experience factor for users on Google versus Apple. Add to that a HTML5 integration in the horizon, Apple also has a reason to be wary of Google’s moves in online gaming.
Regardless, it should be comforting to developers who are uneasy with the control that either Apple or Facebook has from time to time. Developers will be looking to see if the Google+ game network can be as powerful as Facebook. One thing for certain is that they all can start off with a fresh slate. Not one is massively bigger than the others, like Zynga, which is larger than the next 15 developers combined.
The full list of games now on Google+ includes Angry Birds, Bejeweled Blitz, Bubble Island, City of Wonder, Collapse! Blast, Crime City, Diamond Dash, Dragon Age Legends, Dragons of Atlantis, Edgeworld, Flood-It!, Monster World, Sudoku, Wild Ones, Zombie Lane and Zynga Poker.