Facebook said Friday it will shut down Beluga, the social text messaging service the company acquired in March 2011. It’s not an unexpected move: GigaOM first reported that Beluga’s future was up in the air in August, when Facebook debuted the Facebook Messenger mobile app.
Plenty of web entrepreneurs share the same dream: build a great company and then cash in by selling it to Google, Facebook or another technology giant. But being successful is complicated affair, according to those who have seen those deals from the inside.
Does the launch of Facebook Messenger, led by the founding team of Beluga, mean the end of Beluga as its own standalone app? Beluga is still available on its own for the time being — but from the looks of it, that may not last for long.
I’ve been playing with Google+ on my Android handset to get a sense of what it has to offer. The verdict: Google made some thoughtful decisions for mobile users for the Google+ service overall, but Huddle isn’t as intuitive as other group texting platforms.
With over 650,000 apps seeking our attention, it is not an easy task for apps to get our attention. In order to be successful and stand out, the mobile apps have to have little friction and in the process overcome smartphone & mobile web’s three limitations.
If you’re still making apps for individuals, you’re behind the times. A new mobile trend seems to recognize that one is indeed the loneliest number, and has developers targeting groups instead. Group chat, group check-ins, group buys, group love: it’s all about the multiples, baby.
When Jeff Jarvis wrote What Would Google Do?, the company had an aura of invincibility. Fast forward to today: thanks to Facebook, it doesn’t seem so invincible. The new social web has passed it by. So, the question is: What should Google do?