So last week I finished the blog, The Death of Email, with a cliffhanger on what the next generation of communication will be.
Today there are so many different forms of communication, some are used all the time, some barely get a look in anymore.
Different Types of Communication
- The letter is the oldest form of communication which we still use (aside from talking face to face). This is very rarely used for friends to communicate. For me, I mainly get letters from my bank (which I don’t want and can’t opt out of *angry face*), menus and flyers. Letters are a very spam infested form of communication, they are slow, take physical resources and extra time to send, which puts people off. It will not be the next generation of communication.
- Then comes fax… Does this need justifying? Given the paperless office which we are trying to achieve, this is rightly dying out.
- The phone still has a definite place in the modern world, or at least the concept of talking over a mobile connection. This one is evolving so that you can use it over Wi-Fi as well as a cellular network. I also predict that at some point one of the big tech companies, probably Google, will launch their own cellular network, and let their users use it without a subscription, possibly even for free. This will revolutionise how mobile phone carriers work.
- Email. Well as I mentioned last week in The Death of Email, Email is going to die. Email marketing may survive, but as a form of communication between friends and acquaintances, It just won’t last. It’s long winded, unreliable, and doesn’t come through instantly.
- Texting and instant messaging are probably the most likely communication methods to stick around. I also think they are going to merge, because they are basically the same thing, so why wouldn’t they? This idea has been around for quite a while, but has never quite caught on. I have used apps in the past where I could sign in with my MSN account as well as my Facebook account, and it would show me a combined list of contacts. This would save me from switching to MSN and back to Facebook just to have 2 separate conversations. This app wasn’t perfect though – It would duplicate contacts which I had on both MSN and Facebook, I wanted it to merge those conversations into one conversation.
- And finally, comes video conversations. The most famous provider of this is Skype. There are definitely other options: Google Talk and Apple’s FaceTime. All three of these all support instant messaging, voice calls, and video calls. For me, this is by a long way the most likely to survive.
The Next Generation of Communication Will Be…
It’s obvious, it’ll be something where Skype, Google Talk, FaceTime and many others (like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) are all accessible from the same app. I currently have people who I talk to through different apps. i.e. some people who I only talk to with Facebook Messenger, some people I only text, some people I only Skype, you get the picture.
Imagine if I could just open this chat program and see a single list of my contacts across Facebook, Google Talk, Skype and my phone’s contacts. I could send texts from any device (not just my phone), share a file with them, with a single click start a Skype video call to their Google Talk account. No more cross compatibility problems. Texting would merge all apps like WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Skype Chat, Google Talk etc.
Just one app. Imagine the simplicity.
Who Will Make It?
It likely won’t be one of the tech giants, but more likely a well known developer. One of the big tech companies couldn’t create it, because it would be asking their competitors to work with them on something it would probably patent and not let them install on their own products. This could only happen if there was a collaboration between Microsoft, Apple and Google to revolutionise communication, which is possible, but unlikely.
That is why a mutual party, such as a developer is most likely to do it. We’ll just have to hope that one of the tech giants doesn’t buy the developer.
So that concludes my prediction for where communication is going to go. Say goodbye to the letter, the fax and the email.
Lets make way for the next generation.