Variety

Changing with the times

R. Dinakaran | Updated on April 18, 2013 Published on April 18, 2013


The words social media mostly mean just a handful of sites, with Twitter and Facebook topping the list. Both have been around for quite some time, while many others have perished.

One reason for the continued success of Facebook and Twitter is that they have adapted to the changing times. They have realised that mobile is the future and both companies have kept moving along with the developments in the mobile industry.

The latest example for this is again, Facebook.

First, there were rumours that Facebook would be launching an Android phone. There were even a few “leaked pictures” of the phone. When people were wondering about the need for a “Facebook phone” and what it could really do apart from opening Facebook and its other apps like Chat, came the news that it was not a phone, but a brand new Facebook app. The latest updates to the Facebook app in Android were quite good, but there were reports that Mark Zuckerberg still not happy. The reports said the new app would remove all shortcomings of the old Facebook app.

But when Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement, it was not an app, but an Android launcher. Like other launchers, it would change the way users handled the phone. From the moment the phone is switched on, the phone would look like Facebook.

Though Facebook does not call it a launcher, it is for all purposes one. Now, the question is, if Facebook can leverage the Android launcher option, why can’t other companies do it? Twitter too can think of having one. Same with Foursquare.

This need not be necessarily restricted to social media companies. A little bit of creativity can enable others, for example media or FMCG companies, to tap the opportunities offered by launchers. It is also a great opportunity for marketing the brands For example, Airtel or Vodafone can offer launchers that can leverage their offers and schemes. With some carmakers coming up with mobile-based security systems, carmakers such as Audi or Maruti can integrate customer service and car security apps in their launchers. The possibilities are endless.

dinakaran.rengachary@thehindu.co.in

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Published on April 18, 2013
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