How social networks and services are close to control over its ecosystem
We are in a world of fragmented services. Companies that create incredible products, with so many options and possibilities, with so much choice, it’s very easy for a day be able to use different services of different companies that strive to be your focus.
For example, you may be using an Android device with an Outlook account, while using Flickr to upload photos taken with your mobile to your gallery, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Boom. We do this almost every day, if not all.
The problem with using so many services for millions of people is that these companies have grown so large that they have the ability to create their own closed ecosystem. Yes, ecosystem, this word you’re starting to hate her. Unfortunately, Internet companies have reached the point at which the so-called “user experience” above all raw. The problem? That many of them are hidden in the experience to close more and more.
Gmail and closing protocols
Google has one of the most used email services in the world. Gmail is an incredible application and service that for years has proven to be the best webmail solution. But now we find that they are terminating their products. Although Gmail integrates open protocols for other platforms can connect (IMAP, for example), the best experience you get it only if you use your application on iOS or Android.
iOS and windows Phone have post good managers running protocols over the years have become standards. Yet now if you use Gmail on iOS you can not have push mail . In Windows 8 could connect a Google account and your email, calendar and calendar synchronized, now you have to configure service to service and even Google and Microsoft are working together , the story does not end here.
Do you get the best experience using Google applications? Yes, that’s for sure, but while using other applications degrades.
Twitter and its API
Another example that have since talk is Twitter. This social network initially opened its API to any developer would create an application and to publish and read content of Twitter. But changes in the rules of the API in 2012 caused him to verifications limits user access. This caused very famous applications they had to stop their development or to pay monetary solutions to Twitter and have more access to users.
This tactic is common. Twitter what you want is slowly closing its ecosystem of applications to use its official application and monetize with advertisers. That is their right, it is a private company that offers a free but ad serving, do we become product once we are displaying ads? Do we get shelf rights because we are using to sell advertising?
Cony wrote almost a year ago about this issue when Twitter ended the collaboration they had with LinkedIn:
The truth is that Twitter has a number of guides on how to use the APIs that are not limited to technical rules, but indicate that developers should not “create client applications that mimic or reproduce the customer experience of Twitter”. This would leave out to a multitude of clients that replicate the experience of Twitter and that currently exist.
Facebook is the largest social network in the world and in addition, their system to register on other sites thanks to the button that you see on many websites. But also many other applications use Facebook to find friends in common or directly invite registered.
Path application encountered a big problem when Facebook blocked their access to the API to find contacts in common, but no access to register the application.
Although this movement is said to be motivated by problems of spam by Path, we can see that there is a heavy hand on some services to provide access to its API and, as in this case, most users find known.
Focus?, Or control?
If we put ourselves in the shoes of the people who are developing and directing any great service, it is clear that a decision would be easy to close or have more control with what other applications, services, or companies can do with their data and their users . But sometimes we can see how most striking decisions are motivated by a “focus” or a “better experience” for the user.
The bad thing is that these services are closed, the trouble is that as users do not have a protest and convince the twist that many are giving is wrong. Can we ask for such a thing simply because it is “free”? Do we become product because we consume their services and their ads? We can complain through campaigns, hashtags, sending emails or even abandoning the service, it still seems that none of the Social Networks protagonizase any of these incidents seems unfazed. So we are helpless?
Photo: darwinbell (Flickr)Tags: API, Facebook, Microsoft, Redes Sociales, Social Networks, Twitter, windows