The trick to pulling this off is to not make a person step through all things to get to what they want. Your ‘super’ service isn’t for everyone, they may only want a small part so you need the ability to see that small part as it’s own world. Could this be where SecondLife went wrong?
The challenge is always to the big service that tries to get into an area a smaller ‘specialized’ company owns. Case in point is the news over the last couple days around Facebook about to release more specialized mobile apps to build their photos areas.
Facebook is known for it’s record quantity of photos being uploaded and shared through their network. Personally, I used to upload a lot of pictures to share with friends through Facebook. Till Instagram came along, which is more about the image than text. Friends on Facebook read the text updates and shared links, images being lower on the list of reasons friends look at feeds. Sometimes images are grouped on the Wall area while other times they stand alone.
I can upload images to Facebook with their current iPhone app. But, viewing them and viewing updates to the text for the images vary in success. There are several apps for the iPad that push they are great Facebook photo viewing apps.
If Facebook is in fact going to lean heavily on the photo sharing crowd to move all their sharing to their Facebook account, will they succeed without treating that as a standalone service? When you think about the Everything to Everyone services you have used in the past, was there areas that you liked. But, after having to drill in a few times found you went there less and less. Maybe your visiting frequency was slowed because others weren’t willing to drill in to see what you where saying or posting.
Even if Facebook gets it ‘right’, will there still be a need for the services that only do one part of Facebook’s big offering? For me, yes. The more specialized offerings have a world of friends all it’s own. Like the few popular photo sharing social networks gaining in popularity, there is little talk and more viewing. No one needs to be a ‘friend’ to share images they took around their local town. There is little personal information so there is less concerns about privacy. It’s a different view of sharing without all the concerns of people knowing what your viewing or buying. Unless of course, you share pictures of those things.