Presence, Social Networks and iPhone - InformationWeek

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7/15/2008
04:33 PM
Irwin Lazar
Irwin Lazar
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Presence, Social Networks and iPhone

Presence in the social networking world is still more of a dream than a reality. Sure, Facebook recently added instant messaging to its site, enabling users to see if their friend are on-line.  IBM Lotus also supports presence capabilities tied into Connections while Microsoft offers similar capabilities for SharePoint.  But in yet another iPhone E 2.0 Impact its worth noting that two of the recently announced applications for iPhone 2.0, Loopt and Whrrl, enable users to see both the real-time presence and location of their buddies by leveraging iPhones built-in location awareness capabilities (hat tip to Jennifer Leggios blog for the news).

How long before social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn provide the ability for iPhone, or any other GPS-enabled mobile device user to dynamically share their location status with their friends?  How long before businesses begin to take advantage of these same capabilities to build their own applications to enable the tracking of field sales and support personnel by simply leveraging the capabilities already present in their mobile devices versus having to deploy specialized, dedicated systems.  I suspect were on the cusp of building location into our basic definition of presence (and perhaps Big Brother will be watching?)

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