With the flood of new platforms and tools and oceans of hype, it’s difficult to predict what will be the next “killer app” on the Web – sort of like trying to pick the next breakout rock band from Manchester. But when Google is involved, you need to pay attention.
In that vein, all Web users should pay close attention to the pending introduction of Wave – which is in limited beta (via special invite only.) Wave is a multi-headed tech animal spanning various forms of real-time digital communication and collaboration. Here’s BusinessWeek’s definition from a recent article on the platform: “Wave combines e-mail, social networking, instant messaging, video, and collaborative document editing. It lets users create a “wave” around a topic or group of friends, and then invite others to contribute messages, multimedia, and content from around the Web in real time. The application, which is open only for limited testing and has no official release date, could help win Google traffic from popular online social hubs such as Facebook and Twitter.” For Google’s own pitch on Wave check out this site.
What should make Wave interesting – and potentially ubiquitous – is that Google is letting developers design applications that they can pitch, and sell, to support the Wave platform (though they don’t have to be restricted to Wave). The word is that Google hopes Wave replaces not only traditional email and collaboration platforms, but also video/phone services like Skype and WebEx and social networks like Facebook. Lack of ambition is clearly not a problem for Google. Users will ultimately decide if Wave takes off, but at first glance this should provide a worthwhile suite of options for Web users.