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Apple & Microsoft to enter social networking – what this really means!
It has been reported that Apple and Microsoft will be entering the Social Networking scene. My friends over and Techcrunch and Bokardo have reported on the story. So I thought I would provide some insight on what this decision really means.
The first thing it means is that the game of social networking is going to become way more interesting. Apple and Microsoft have almost unlimited resources, have no VC’s to answer to (ok they have shareholders to answer to but we can PR them), and have the ability to crush the competition (see Apple OS vs. Windows).
I am working on a larger article about consolidation of the industry, but Microsoft has a buy before build mentality. I see Microsoft purchasing somewhere between 5-9 social networking sites within the next year to 18 months. As for Apple, I think they are more likely to build from within, but they will recruit the top talent from the current crop of social networking sites. Which in of itself will lead to more consolidation as the leftover talent looks to grab whatever cash they can.
When the big players in the software market enter the social networking scene, they will bring along a bundle of guidance. This guidance will come in several forms. First, I see the creation of standards. Standards for coding, for authentication, etc. I also see a lot of guidance in the areas of marketing. Since these two players have available money, they will flood the market with press. And as my friend Darshan over at Easybib says, “The more players in the market, the more likely you are to succeed as the product will already be known to the market”.
What would I like to see
I think the most important thing I would like to see would be the ability to tie into other databases for login. Microsoft could easily tie a login system into MSN. Apple could easily tie into their iTunes user database. This would certainly simplify things as opposed to trying to remember 50-100 different passwords. Again, I am working on a larger post about the industry for 2007 coming soon.
I welcome your comments on this entry and look forward to what the future holds for the social networking scene! And CenterNetworks will be there, for every merger, acquisition, site launch and site closure.