Viral App Distribution with Google Wave

Amidst all of the coverage of Google Wave this week, I have not seen mention of its significance for software application distribution. In short, waves come with optional code content (like attachments) that run inline with the user’s approval. The first time a user sees an extension or robot connected to a wave, they “install” or grant access to the application in order to experience the complete message. This distribution mechanism is a game changing new way to acquire customers.

There were many things about the Wave demonstration (which I was lucky to see in person) that made my jaw drop. I was very impressed. As an application developer, it is the image of a message with a chain of puzzle pieces (uninstalled apps) on the end that really sticks with me.

Google Wave Embedded Application

I see two paradigms of discovery at play on the Web. First, is the older “world is flat” model where everyone has access to everything (often anonymously), and Web sites are discovered primarily through search. The power of the “flat” model is demonstrated in Google search, Craigslist/Ebay, and Wikipedia.

The newer model is the social media model, where everything on the Web is discovered via your friends (AKA your social graph). Where the flat model makes everything more digital (connectivity and free replication flatten markets), the social media model is makes the Web more human like by making real world interactions more efficient. Facebook is the most successful example of using your social graph to filter the Web.

When you have a product you are trying to tell people about, the primary paths in the old world were SEO and advertising/marketing. In the new world, electronic word of mouth is the goal. Annoyingly proliferous Facebook apps and armies of Twitter marketers are the evidence of this new shift.

My two models above are actually an over-simplification. In the old world, we had email, and many people discovered Web sites and participated in social “apps” like petitions or chain letters. Google Wave amplifies this phenomena the way social networks amplified it. Whether the embedded software entails rendering a map, playing a game, or watching a video – users now will be able to “become a customer” inside the message. In the same way it makes collaboration 10x easier, Google Wave makes the delivery of software 10x easier. For applications that naturally involve collaboration, new customers will come easy. For others, it will be critical to understand this rich distribution model to keep their code and content in front of customers.

Google Wave Chess Game

35 thoughts on “Viral App Distribution with Google Wave”

  1. Maybe I’m overcomplexing it, but what do you think about invitational / VIP style models?

    It seems that increasingly there are a lot of sites that offer the “flat” style access that you mentioned, but only to a certain few – either through invitations from site staff, or invitations through existing clientele / user base.

    Seems like something more traditionally done by sites in growth stage (i.e. Gmail in the past), but there are some sites that still do maintain it i.e. TFS.

  2. hmm its really sad that I didnt even know about google wave till i read your post ! Pretty interesting though, also loved the article on twitter. I have about 1k+ followers but never really used the power of twitter for anything.

  3. hey guys,
    Thanks for the post. The program will immensely help to aware more people about environment and experience the sheer joy of being close to it. IT Training

  4. Off subject a little..The World is Flat is a good book. On subject, the most successful companies now offer their services or products for free. It just seems to be the most successful business model today. Look at Google…Firefox..ect. Google gets it and I think they are going to take a large chunk of market share from Microsoft unless they change their business model to the “make it free and try to monetize it” way of thinking that Google has. Good post!

  5. I’m so excited about google Wave. I think it will take time to catch on, but I believe it will completely revolutionize the internet and marketing. I have now watched google’s hour long video on the google Wave, and i’m super impressed.

  6. I work down in Myrtle Beach, SC and was also lucky enough to see the google wave presentation. Are company is a smaller interactive agency and we look at google wave as something that could possibly reinvent the way we track the business we do. (use wave as a time keeping application)

    Good post

  7. This quite interesting because I was reading an article not long ago about how backlinks are the only way for google to tell how important a website is thus deciding how well it ranks in google. But this could change all that. I guess only time will tell…

  8. I had never thought of social media as a sort of chain letter, it’s definitely something that seems to ring true. Thanks for the insightful article.

    I’m 100% sure backlinks are here to stay, we’ll see though if Google can start to tell who is leaving the backlinks

  9. This is the first I’ve heard of Google Wave. What a trip! An electronic chain letter. I guess we’re witnessing the evolution of social networking into more of a business model than just social media?

  10. Google Wave is just coming into being, but it will become a new standart of communication, I’m sure it’s gonna be a bomb.
    Probably only a small amount of people have GW accounts today, but you’ll see – by spring this amount will increase significantly… Global Google, Big Bro, huh)

  11. I can’t believe you’ve got access to the Wave! I requested from two different accounts but still not heard anything. Even when I offered to develop plugins for it.

  12. Thanks for this type of article. Actually this article is new for me because I do not know about Google wave. I think it is a very nice trip for the people like us. I expect that it will be very popular.

  13. Google Wave will change how small business operate. Currently, small businesses struggle with the idea that they need office space. Google Wave provides a great answer and friendly user interface to the idea of a virtual office. Thanks for the great post.

  14. Nice and impressive post also I’m so excited about google Wave. I think it will take time to catch on, but I believe it will completely revolutionize the internet and marketing. I have now watched google’s hour long video on the google Wave, and i’m super impressed.

  15. I am very exciting google wave.I think it will take time to catch on, but I believe it will completely revolutionize the internet and marketing.Google wave is really cool. I like it.

  16. Google Wave does seem to be a very innovative venture by google. It will gradually grow onto the internet community. As others have mentioned above, google wave has the true potential to completely transform internet, web communication and marketing. Start up entrepreneurs and small business owners will certainly acquire more power and flexibility through this brilliant tool. It may also be quite handy in virtual mindmapping sessions with our friends and associates.

  17. Hello, I was reading-through this web site with my N97 and it appears kinda strange. Assumed you would want to be aware of. It’s actually a terrific article even so, did not mess that up.

  18. Google Wave completly failed. Now nobody uses Google Wave. Google wave required some new innovative ideas to survive, otherwise wave gone.

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