Monday, August 27, 2007

Address Book or Phone Book 2.0, zyb and plaxo( pulse )

Though I hate to use the word “2.0”, it makes perfect sense to use it with what zyb and pulse are doing. You are building a community using the existing address book/phone book. Wow, way to go guys. Smart thinking. Every social community building requires friends to build your own community. Other social networking sites provide tools to pull all your friends from your outlook or other email providers. With plaxo and zyb, you already have your friends and family available at your finger tips. I think it’s a great business strategy. Also, from a user standpoint, you are building a community with your real friends who, for sure, exist and have a real face and identity. With millions of user data (zyb has around 8 million users, plaxo has around 15 million users), these companies are providing a way to capitalize and take advantage of these contact lists. I’m sure some of the contacts might already be part of different social community
To start with, zyb can provide some basic service. In future, they can bring in all the features that are required to build a social community with different feature set.
Having said that, it’s going to be a big challenge competing with established players like myspace, facebook, bebo, hi5 etc. Also, it’s a “me to” social network concept that is too old and stale in some ways. Definitely it’s better than being mobile phone backup company. Any web 2.0 company that can read the pulse of their users and cater to their needs is surely going to be a winner.
There are many companies that provide mobile phone backup; even some of the operators have their own mobile phone back up option. But zyb has moved ahead from just being a mobile phone backup storage. This is what separates them from other mobile phone backup companies.
Iam more excited about zyb than plaxo. Not that I dislike plaxo. With the web playing a key role in the shaping of future technology, zyb brings the true value of convergence of phone book and access anywhere. All these guys need to do is support features that are supported on the phone. Ubiquitous!.
Here are some interesting things zyb can provide to the users.
• Private or group sms message from web. ( You could tips from some of the group sms companies. Take a look at my Group SMS post).
• Share pictures taken from phone with different social networking communities like MySpace,facebook,bebo,Hi5 etc.
• Support voice calling from web interface to any of the contacts. ( Voip-to-PSTN, Voip-to-Voip, depending on the configuration. From a future mobile standpoint, iam assuming phone contacts shall carry IM,email and a SIP URI). They could replicate the success of jajah or any other web based call back model. Even partnering with some of the vendors might be good time to market strategy.
• Show IM status from the web interface. ( Assuming the phone has IM client configuration). More ubiquitous.
• Web messaging interface like email,IM,sms that can be used as a communication tool with the contacts.
• If zyb can come up with their own handset clients, I can see so many different cool features that can be supported( partial FMC, unified messaging and some voice 2.0 apps using the existing contact list ).
• Micro blogging support. ( Something similar to hugely popular twitter,jaiku or pownce).
• Add new contacts from web interface.
• Delete contacts from web interface.

Wish these guys a success. Hope these guys can come up with something innovative.

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1 comment:

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