I participated on a recent CTIA Educational Session on the topic of mobile social networking applications where I was speaking along with peers from all aspects of the mobile social media ecosystem including content providers (MobiTV and Shazam) and gaming (Zynga).
The discussion centered around the main concern of connecting people with each other through their services, which is then related directly to their business model, such as advertising. Therefore, they are only considering the application, and not the impact that they will have on the device. There were key points of the debate that were not addressed on this panel.
Specifically, I wish that they would have shared the example of an app bringing down a significant metropolitan area for a carrier in the US. The carriers do not have a fat pipe that is unlimited and free for all to use. This is a hot issue facing the industry today… with the transition from unlimited to tiered data plan pricing as a starting point that demonstrates the concern and actions that must be taken. The experience to the end user must be clear, easy to navigate and have a mobile experience that does not impact the performance on the device. This is the “real life, real time” experience that the end user wants.
Finally, the lack of control on the developer was referenced. This can all change tomorrow, and a new app is at the top of the list as the featured one in that specific app store. The issues are putting the networks at risk, and the risk is about the app developer – device – end user behavior and experiences. It is all at a different socio-psychological level, from a pragmatic level all the way to a human level.