Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O’Reilly Media in 2004, refers to a perceived second-generation of Web-based services – such as social networking sites, wikis and communication tools – that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users.
Web 2.0 websites allow users to do more than just retrieve information. They can build on the interactive facilities of “Web 1.0” to provide “network as platform” computing, which allows users to run software applications entirely through a browser.
Users can own the data on a Web 2.0 site and exercise control over that data. These sites may have an “architecture of participation” that encourages users to add value to the application as they use it. This offers huge advantages over traditional websites, which limit visitors to viewing and whose content only the site’s owner can modify. Web 2.0 sites often feature a rich, user-friendly interface based on Ajax, Flex or similar rich media. The sites may also have social-networking aspects.
But if we’re going to have a Mobile 2.0, I think we would do well to base the definition on the Web 2.0 mind set and thinking. The term Mobile 2.0, can be defined as the next generation of data services to mobile connected devices.
- SMS -> IM, mobile blogging
- MMS -> Media sharing
- Operator Portals -> Mobile web and search
- Operator chooses -> User chooses
- Premium SMS billing -> Mobile stored value accounts
- Java Games -> Connected applications (e.g. photo sharing, blogging)
- Presence & Push-To-Talk -> VOIP applications
- WAP sites -> Web sites that adapt for mobile browsers
- WAP push -> RSS readers
- Wallpaper -> Idle screen applications
- Location services -> Navigational and map applications
In short, Mobile 2.0 takes the mobile platform forward in leaps and bounds to where the Internet is today, and shows us how the mobile phone can become a first class citizen, or even a leading citizen, of the Web. What Mobile 2.0 does not mean, at least in my mind, is more sophisticated but still essentially closed mobile applications and services (although these will also continue to play an important role in the mobile value chain).
Openness and user choice are essential components of mobile 2.0. Nowadays people spend more time on mobile apps than they do online. There are more than 500 million Android and IOS devices on the market, and giant countries like China and Indonesia are only just getting started on their smart phone and tablet adoption drives. With 5.6 billion mobile subscribers on our planet, global mobile 3G subscribers are growing at over 35 percent, year after year, and suddenly there is a lot more room to maneuver.
But in a relative nutshell, Web 2.0 opens up a myriad marketing avenues, formats and possibilities for the intrepid marketer to experiment with. While, as with any emerging technology, the parameters that determine successful implementation may not be crystal clear, there is no doubt that mobile marketing operations herald a new age of connective, interactive marketing.