Mainstream Apps

I was just watching lot’s of videos by many interesting people that rule new media and web 2.0. Specially Gary Vaynerchuk, Zadi Diaz, Jason Calacanis and Kevin Rose. They all agree on one point, the potential of the web is still enourmous, because not even 1% of the population are using the killer apps. 

Ok maybe more than 1% of the poulation are using it, but the truth is that it’s a minority using Twitter, FriendFeed, mint.com and watching On-line shows. Many average people use You Tube to watch short videos, funny videos or just trailers, they use e-mail to communicate and some of them have blogs.  But, the truth is that many of the really useful and collabortive apps that are out there on the market are still not used in a “Myspace” style. 

Myspace and Facebook are probably the most succesful social networks because they managed to get in the mainstream. Garay Vaynerchuk said: “Imagine when Oprah starts using twitter”. That shows the huge potential twitter and other sites have if they manage to get in to the majority of the population. I am pretty sure that Paris Hilton and Megan Fox will have close to 1 million followers if they were on twitter and with that many people will find other people and get the benefits of being part of the that community of users.

But all these cool apps aren’t mainstream yet and some seem to have trouble to get many users even inside the early adopters market. I think the main problem is that people still don’t see the benefits of using this sites. It’s crazy to say that because the benefits of these sites are in front of our faces. My personal experience is that I got a job via Twitter from a person I wouldn’t have known if i wasn’t using twitter at all. And at first it seemed normal but now I’m thrilled at the idea that I got a job using a site like Twitter. Twitter rocks, but i also got to learn lot’s of things and meet cool people that i can help and people that help me with my projects.

So why this things don’t go mianstream. I think that there needs to be a Viral effect. For example, Myspace had many famous people inside and lot’s of people got in to follow them and then met and found new people to add. I call it ” The Social Network Chain Reaction”. The same happend with facebook, but not quite in the same way. Let’s say you like this girl a lot (or guy as it applies) and she (or he) gets a facebook account it’s most likely that you’ll open an account too so you can keep contact and while you do that you’ll find more friends and draw more people in. 

This are the reasons many people join social networks. I’m sure there is many other reasons to join. I joined twitter to try it out because I’ve heard so much about it and found lot’s of friends. Maybe you joined facebook by another reason. But there is a good amount of people joining by this “Chain Reaction”. I think that any kind of chain reaction like this working in a multiplied way can make any of the great Web 2.0 app sites go mainstream.

The strategy i recommend is communication of the benefits to community leaders and people with “lot’s of Whuffie” so they can test the site and recommend it. Of course the quality of your site needs to be guaranteed to certain point, if not people will not like it and just stop using it. The web is full of apps and that is cool, many will make it mainstream and others will have a group of loyal users, either way they will be cool. 

It’s a matter of time until we see mainstream twitter, It’s somehow already happening with Barack Obama. The key is to communicate the benefits to community leaders and influential people and they will do the rest. Also try and build and promote different utilities to your product so people will adopt it as a  product that helps making life easy and opens doors to new opportunities.

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  1. Facebook is great for getting in touch with old friends *and* networking because so many people use it. MySpace – ugh. Even though it is mainstream, I wish it wouldn’t be. 🙂




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