Trend: Subscriptions to web sites and alerts allow cell phone users to track events and receive incremental information immediately.
Rajesh Jain at Emergic.org descrbes why mobile users with subscriptions will be the next big trend on the Web, especially in places where mobiles are the primary means of accessing the web. Excerpts below.
Search engines are the primary way to navigate the Reference Web. We no longer bookmark sites or even try and remember their URLs; we Google everything. This becomes possible because we trust Google to have made a copy of everything that has been created and appropriately ingested it with its algorithms. Search works very well with the PC screen -- most of the space is taken up by the results with some relevant ads thrown around. This works great for us, the search engines and the advertisers.
As the Live Web starts to occupy a greater importance in our lives, Search on a PC will no longer be the dominant form of interaction. Instead, I believe it will be Subscriptions delivered to a mobile screen. Let me explain.
The Live Web is about events and incremental information. There are a number of things we would like to know as soon as they happen. In this context, the best way to be alerted is to set up an alert. So, when we want to track something, we can set up a Subscription to that site.... The mobile is the perfect device to send out an alert to since we can be pretty sure that the user will see the message almost immediately.
In emerging markets like India, access to the PC is still limited, but mobiles (and SMS for now) can reach over 150 million users.... The mobile thus becomes the ideal device to send people information about the Live Web.
Search does not become irrelevant for the Live Web. In fact, we will still use Search for things we cannot Subscribe to in advance. My point is that Subscription will be the dominant way we interact with the Live Web ? just like Search is the primary way we interface with the Reference Web.
With this change in behaviour and device, the business model will also morph.