Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Social Networked Mobile App Store: Emerging Trend

They say last decade belonged to “e” and this decade is going to belong to “m”. No wonder, as mobile is the personal device almost everyone possesses now a days. The word “m” has amazing potential to change the world and there is little doubt that it is going impact our life more and more in coming future.

In the “e” decade, Social Networks emerged as the hot trends. Social Networks like Facebook, and Twitter grown like everything. These are the places people started visiting regularly. Even e-mails are left behind by the social networks in terms of usage.

Then came "m" decade. With the emergence of Mobile Phones, another concept emerged called “App Store”. Apple’s iPhone lead the show with one single place to download and purchase applications. It simplified download and purchase process. Then there came more App Stores like Google’s Android store and Nokia’s OVI store.

I see an interesting trend will emerge in future. I will call it Social Networked App Store (or Just "Social Store"). App Stores are the places all mobile users are already visiting frequently now a days. In future, these App Stores will expand to full flagged Social Networks. Or in a simple language Social Networks and App Stores will converge to each other.

App Stores have many advantages over current social networks (or at least  can fulfill the gaps) like Facebook as follows –

  1. They have integrated payment system. We know that Social Networks like Facebook and Twitter are still in search of a right revenue model. They are struggling in making money. This gap can be easily fulfilled by the App Stores in the form of integrated billing and one click payment.
  2. Mobile Phones already have friends list with them in the form of phone address book. Friend’s list is one of the key element of a social network. Future Social Stores will start utilizing this contact information and start building the networks.

Power of integrated billing and access to friend-list makes App Store future of Social Networks. Either the current social networks will have to converge to App Stores or there will be emergence of new kind of Social Networks in future which I call "Social Stores".

What is your opinion? Do you see anything like Social Stores emerging in future?