I had a thought today about an awesome cellular application. Imagine taking Cingular’s cellular services and coupling them with your Facebook account. The idea would be to automatically synchronize in real-time streaming mode your facebook contacts to your phone. So, at any given time, you could automatically have all your friends’ latest phone numbers, their current profile photo, email addresses, etc.
There are three considerations to worry about here: Cooperation, Privacy, and Delivery/Integration.
Cooperation first, the Facebook API does not currently let a developer get a user’s phone number, mobile number, or email address. Cingular would have to come up with a special API licensing agreement with Facebook that would entitle them to this functionality, signing a strict non-disclosure and privacy agreement.
Privacy second, when Facebook adds new features, its users often become upset about perceived violations of their personal data. Were Cingular or another network and Facebook to work together, users should all be notified and allowed to opt out.
Delivery third, batch or manual synchronization won’t cut it. Cingular would need to install a resident process on the OS of its phones to listen for FacebookUpdateConnections and push out new content when Facebook updates. It can be done with batching and polling on the server backend, but to users it has to appear fresh and lively.
Suddenly this would be a big cross-licensing win for both companies, as users flock to the cellular provider so they can run Facebook on their mobiles, and cellular users start signing up for Facebook accounts to automatically manage their contacts. It’s a great use of the publish/subscribe model for the wireless and social networking world!
|This entry was posted on Friday, November 3rd, 2006 at 8:39 pm and is tagged with manual synchronization, users flock, networking world, facebook, cellular provider, cellular users, profile photo, cellular services, social networking, batching, privacy agreement, social networks, mobile number, licensing agreement, cingular, personal data, backend, new features, api, disclosure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.|