Michael Arrington scribes his vision for mobile social mashups in a TechCrunch post yesterday. He argues social networking could be the killer app of the mobile device, and one of the biggest beneficiaries of the expected surge in application development (we argue it will be local search):
Imagine walking into a meeting, classroom, party, bar, subway station, airplane, etc. and seeing profile information about other people in the area, depending on privacy settings. Picture, name, dating status, resume information, etc. The information that is available would be relevant to the setting – quick LinkedIn-type information for a business meeting v. Facebook dating status for a bar.
He correctly identifies location awareness and privacy controls as technical and social enablers for this to happen. More importantly it will be the open development environment of Google’s Android and the iPhone SDK that will get us there. He contrasts this with the current environment:
The space is wide open at this point – no one has created an application that has gotten enough traction to go mainstream. That’s party because of tech limitations – browser-based networks don’t leverage the power of the mobile device, and client based applications are blocked by service providers and handset limitations.
IPhone techno-elitist early adopters are the perfect base to get this mobile social graph started, given the camaraderie among their ranks. From there, he says, it will grow, hopefully in sync with greater iPhone penetration — or that of cheaper copycat devices that will soon become standard issue for the mobile mainstream.
Questions are: Will the development-to-market timeline and the social acceptance be in step? And what local search mashups will we see, given that bars and restaurants are a central part of this vision?