Next 6 Months Will be Transformative for Social Web

The upcoming six months are going to transform the social web. Yesterday, MySpace was the first social network to release a public API which extends users’ friend connections (or as Facebook would call it, “social graph”) to the rest of the web. It is highly anticipated that Facebook will be launching a competing version next month at their second annual F8 event.

Next month Apple is set to release the second version of their iPhone which will include a developer platform which has fundamental similarities to the Facebook platform released by Facebook over one year ago. If anything could transform the social web, I am betting heavily that the iPhone becomes just as large of a catalyst as Facebook was for change in the industry.

Combine the data portability movement with open mobile platforms and then add on Facebook’s highly anticipated payment platform and you are looking at big changes ahead. Companies will be working overtime to adapt to the new platforms and embrace it all. So what does this mean for business? Considering that I was writing about a similar shift taking place one year ago, it means a lot.

The most substantial question which has been unanswered is how do large businesses adapt in such a rapidly changing environment? It’s understandable that companies with a few employees can adjust to the change overnight but for most people it’s unsustainable. This may be one of the primary reasons that the social web industry has so much difficulty in gaining traction with brands.

Cutting through all the buzz is critical. Large brands will simply need to pick innovative companies that can adapt to all of the change and work with them to help build a presence in social media. The best rule of thumb at this point is: anything is better than nothing. While large companies may not have all the cutting edge tools, staying educated is the most important thing.

As the social web transforms over the coming months, what do you think is the best way for large corporations to stay up to date and not appear out of the loop?