With the Realtime Web hitting the mainstream in 2009, the outlook for 2010 couldn’t be more compelling. The realtime web will get more available to the mainstream audience and we will see an explosion of truly realtime conversations where the interaction is more back and forth than today’s semi-broadcast usage patterns. Below are the trends and events we see will shape the realtime web during 2010.
Facebook will continue their path towards becoming a search engine for the realtime web, and their take will include searching within your own social graph. We predict their public search engine will include search options to limit search results mirroring the new privacy settings. Thus allowing users to search within the history of friends, friends of friends or everyone.
Twitter clients like TweetDeck and Seesmic will open up access to their users for plugins from other services. At the same time, other services for the realtime web will implement the Twitter API, creating new usage patterns for existing Twitter clients. There will no longer be any need to build a desktop app from scratch, it will be easier to plug your application into an existing app. Twitter unleashing their firehose will also increase the usability of web apps and Twitter clients. And we will see a new set of services using data mining techniques on the global flow of tweets, while other services will emphasize the hyperlocal.
With the increasing availability and quality of location-based filtering for the realtime web, it will become more and more valuable for individual users to be on the scene of events, to be an eyewitness instead of just repeating reports from others. Photos and video will become an increasingly important part of the reporting, in order for individuals to back up their accounts of what is going on, right now, right there.
The value created by this development will foremost be leveraged by event organizers and publishers covering events and news. Blogs and news outlets will increasingly thrive on people giving attention to the present in real time.
The most promising outlook for 2010 is that in a year from now it will not be only Twitter and Facebook that represent the realtime web towards a larger audience. Realtime search-engines and desktop clients will present a richer echosystem, including photos and videos, geolocationed to allow streams of information to give a clear and, more often than before, a truthful picture of ongoing events.