Hello Facebook Messenger, Goodbye BBM!

facebook-messenger-bbmpngIn one shot, Facebook may have just killed SMS (text messages) and BBM! It seems Facebook is launching ‘Facebook Messenger’ which will allow you to send messages through an app directly to your Facebook contacts without ever having to log in or open the site.

The move is brilliant. Although it could take away some traffic from the site, it entrenches Facebook as a permanent means to stay in touch with friends. Why bother trying to port over friends to various messaging apps when you already have everyone on Facebook? Utter brilliance.

I have always been frustrated by the fragmentation of the messaging market. Some people are die-hard BBM users, and others use various other apps but none of them communicate to each other. So BlackBerry users were stuck chatting with other BlackBerry users and iPhone users were stuck with other iPhone users. Now, everyone will be able to chat – for free – with all of their existing Facebook contacts. Which, for most people, is their largest most complete network.

The app will only be for iOS and Android though, so you BlackBerry users finally have no excuse for sticking to BB for BBM.

Although it does not seem to be available in Canada yet it will most surely be rolling out to us shortly – with increasing competition from Google+ now, it seems Facebook has gotten the message (pun intended).

 

So, are you all over the new Facebook Messenger?

Marketing, Technology And Business Podcasts

marketing-technology-business-podcastFor a while now I have been doing the occasional podcast with a good friend of mine, Shum. This blog post will serve primarily as easy access to the variety of podcasts I have been a guest on.

If you are interested in marketing, technology or business, I highly recommend checking our Shum’s website and listen to a podcast or two. If you are like-minded, I am sure he would love to have you on his podcast and likewise, I am always looking for guest bloggers.

To give you more of a background on what you can expect some common themes that are discussed are: Google, Apple, changing technology, noteworthy IPOs and acquisitions, social media and social networks, marketing campaigns etc.

    1. “An Additional Network”
    2. “iRevolution”” (with Andrew Baskerville)
    3. “Transparency Rules”
    4. A Sunday Evening Trio
    5. Channel Surfing
    6. Plus One
    7. Fools in the Cloud
    8. Thoughts About Tablets
    9. UBB and the Shift of Power

Google Plus+: Success or Failure?

google-plus-logo-social-networkObviously only time will tell whether or not Google+ truly takes off and begins to take over Facebook but I do have some thoughts on what makes Google+ great and what is holding it back.

+1 The sparks integrated news feed is a great idea. If it takes off, it would serve to keep you in Google+ instead of having to venture off the social grid for your news digest.

+1 The integration with Google products is nice. It is always good to have a common platform for things like email, networking, news etc.

+/- It’s layout is very similar to Facebook. Good because it is familiar to us, and bad because it is not a new and exciting concept.

-1 No “wall”. Instead you “share” your posts with circles directly on your own feed. What this means is that there is essentially no point in having a profile as people will not be visiting your wall to share with you.

-1 The idea of circles is neat but I already find myself adding everyone to the same circle so I don’t have to bother trying to figure out how to share with. Facebook has taught us to share with everyone and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

-1 Launch was a failure (in my opinion) simply because they have restricted those who can join. Perhaps they are trying to generate a buzz around it (which they have) but they could always lose out on the window of opportunity to steal share from Facebook. By the time they open it to everybody Google+ might be a thing of the past.

Overall, Google+ has had a fairly promising start but I can certainly see it fading away like other failed Google social attempts. They failed to get everyone on at once which means people are already bored of playing on it with the 3 people who actually got invites. This is certainly the downfall for me as I have no reason to go on and play around with few people on the network.

In the end, Google+ will need to find a way to convince the vast majority of Facebook users to switch, otherwise Facebook will stick. No one wants to use a social network with only 5% of their friends. For now, I’m still an avid Facebook user.

What are your thoughts?


The Social Media Tech Bubble

social media tech bubbleOne of my favourite things to do when I have a few minutes to spare is to pull out my iPhone 4 and begin sifting through article after article (if you want a great reliable reader that works for your browser and phone, check out Feedly). The amount of information available at your fingertips these days is amazing but it seems to me like many investors are not keeping up to speed. Hear me out.

Each and everyday I read at least 3 articles about up-and-coming tech start-ups; most of which exist in the realm of social media. The question becomes: when is enough, enough?

I was hardly old enough at the time of the first tech-bubble burst to keep up with the news and follow industry trends but even so, it seems that history may be repeating itself, as it often does.

There are a number of social media powerhouses in the arena currently such as Twitter and Facebook and, despite ridiculous valuations, their success is virtually assured. Facebook is now generating heaps of cash and will continue to pursue additional means of doing so, and Twitter has now amassed such a large user-base that it is only a matter of time before they start printing money as well. Not all websites can enjoy this level of success, however.

Each day, Tech Crunch publishes a number of articles describing tech start-ups (mostly just social media-based websites) and their ability to obtain funding. It baffles me how it seems that every entrepreneur that creates a website seems to be able to obtain vast amounts of funding. There is a finite demand for photo-sharing websites/apps for example, and yet it seems that each day 3 more websites crop up that offer the same benefits.

Many of these new websites/services/apps are able to obtain many millions of dollars in funding and I can only begin to wonder how they will ever be able to make money. Even if they do enjoy some popularity, it will likely be short-lived, leaving investors with empty pockets. It is only a matter of time before this ever-growing tech bubble bursts.

A recent article from Tech Crunch points out that Facebook and Twitter are the exception, not the rule. The reality is that most start-ups will fail sooner or later. Chances are it will be sooner rather than later, especially when considering social media sites which are almost entirely driven by short-term popularity.

Social media was “the new thing” but it is not so new anymore. Those that have already established their presence will continue to thrive. New entrants will face increasing competition, just as in any other maturing industry or marketspace. I think investors easily see this with other industries but seem to turn a blind eye when it involves new technologies and social media. As Sarah Lacy points out in the Tech Crunch article, there will be a number of great new social media start-ups down the road, but they will be the exception, not the rule.

But what do you think? Do you see a tech bubble forming? If so, when do you think it will pop?