In the near future, developers say car apps will be big and Facebook may be the social network of the past.
How do you unseat a Goliath like Facebook? The strategy in a nutshell: Think mobile.
According to a survey conducted by Appcelerator and research firm IDC, more than 66% of mobile developers believe that start-ups have a fighting chance against Facebook--if they go mobile first.
“Developers are highlighting a cautionary note that all businesses should pay attention to: Mobile has the power to reshape entire industries and these changes will be swift,” the survey reads. “It is not enough to port elements of your existing business model over to mobile. Staying competitive in the era of mobility requires fundamentally re-envisioning traditional business models through a mobile-first lens.”
It's worth noting that there have been some attempts already to chip away at Facebook's dominance via mobile apps: fast-growing social network Path is one, which the survey doesn't mention. But these are still early days. The survey's larger point is that every business--not just those in the social media space--will need to take a mobile-first approach in the coming years.
The report surveyed 5,526 mobile developers from August 22-28, 2012 on their perceptions of the mobile space and its future integration with social media and the cloud. According to Appcelerator and IDC, this report compiles the world’s largest mobile developer survey conducted to date.
Respondents also weighed in on future mobile predictions: 84% believe they will be building apps for television by 2015 and 74% of developers say they will be building apps for cars by the same date. Above all, most respondents acknowledged the speed at which mobile development is growing and highlighted its importance in the small business community.
“Mobile provides enterprises with an unprecedented opportunity to transform their relationships and build towards competitive advantage--even faster than was possible when Web technologies emerged,” the survey says.
But be warned: Mobile “will also leave a wake of casualties among companies that underestimate the speed of disruption.”
MAEGHAN OUIMET is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in Boston Magazine and Rolling Stone. She covers technology start-ups and innovations from the San Francisco bureau for Inc.com. @MaeghanO