Posts Tagged ‘Social network’

Google Voice is the holy grail

March 12, 2009

The more a brand knows about your interests, the better it can be at showing you advertising relevant enough to grab your attention.  Additionally, the more a brand knows about who you are friends with, the better it can be at showing you advertising relevant enough to grab your attention.  Your social graph is very telling of your potential purchasing decisions, for birds of a feather flock together.  These concepts were the original value propositions of social networks to advertisers.  We all know how that has panned out in reality.

Are you really that close with the hundreds of people you are connected to via Facebook, LinkedIn or twitter?  No, you’re not.  But you probably are quite close to most of the people you speak with or SMS with on your cell phone.  The reason for this is that your cell phone is more personal; and it requires more of a commitment to connect with someone through a phone call.

When I first started using Twitter I thought to myself that these guys really nailed the capturing of my personal data (interests, preferences, intimate social graph, etc).  I thought the sole use case of the service was to constantly broadcast to my friends what I am up to.  Brilliant.  But in actuality I use twitter to send a variety of messages to a mix of social and professional contacts, and only occassionally does that message actually have anything to do with me personally (aka what I’m doing).  The early adopters of twitter probably fall in this category.  Yet the masses will use the platform to speak about themselves most of the time; as such the personal data capture may still happen, but learning a user’s true social graph will not.

Skydeck came so close.  I’ve been waiting for this company to really take off and ultimately become a marketing services company.  So far it hasn’t happened and because of Google Voice it probably never will.

If Google Voice can get enough people to use the service, it would seize the holy grail of information that advertisers want.  It will know your real-world relationships and the strength of those relationships.  It will know who is a business contact and who is a personal contact.  Through its transcription service, Google will know the content of messages people leave for you and of any calls you ask it to record.  It will know the content of all your text messages.  That is all powerful data, especially when combined with data harvested from Google’s other products such as Gmail,  Talk and Latitude.  Google Voice will expose your real social graph.  And because it’s on your cell phone, dozens of new data points are harvested each day.  Last, but not least, once hooked you will feasibly use the service forever because your Google Voice number is yours to keep and Google isn’t disappearing anytime soon.

I really can’t wait to try out the service.  I hope you feel inclined to leave a comment regardless of whether you agree with me or not.

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