Great writeup by the Vision Mobile folks about bringing the ‘social’ out of the operator walled gardens. I agree that there needs to be some cross-operator API that operates at a different level. Lets hope the WAC and the OneAPI effort make some headway.
I just wanted to point how much catch-up needs to be done. Carriers might think they have some real unique assets. However some of the real core ones are already showing some issues. Take messaging for example. If I have an application on iPhone the notification system built into the iOS platform far and away trumps trying to fall back on something like SMS, both from the app provider and user points of view. And if I’m a website owner who wants to get notifications out to my users? Best way to make that happen is to integrate Facebook so that I can send users notifications through that platform.
So yes, there’s some unique value to be derived from the core services. But take note that the bar has already been raised. We get notifications for free with Facebook and iOS. Receipt of message controls are granular and at the control of the user on those platforms. SMS based services lack much of what we’ve come to expect out of the platforms that we are using. To put together a cross-operator notification/messaging service that’s compelling isn’t going to mean taking the single-carrier model and extending it. Some of these core services need to be rethought before they can be scaled.