Yesterday Fortune published “Are we already moving on from traditional social networking?” Much of what was discussed was Netvibes and how they are struggling with monetization solutions for widgets. What grabbed my attention was the article title. My response to the question: are we moving on from traditional social networking? Yes! Is social networking doomed? No.
There used to be a battle between social networks to simply build their user base. Since then the battlegrounds have changed locations. The new battle is between the top tier social networks (and Google) who are now attempting to own the social backbone of each individual. We all have unique interests and as such we will browse the web for information we are interested in. Rather than just interacting with the website we are going to start interacting with both strangers and friends that are viewing the site.
This is already beginning to happen with the Facebook. The best applications provide social interaction with your friends. Once Google launches their platform, I have a feeling that we are going to see this social platform brought to the web. You browse the web but you are interconnected via an abstracted layer that keeps you interconnected with your contacts. The main goal of all these features is to make web browsing an increasingly shared experience. Out of curiosity, do you feel lonely browsing websites without your friends or do you prefer surfing solo?