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Page history last edited by Ben Miller 17 years, 7 months ago

QQ is historically and primarily a PC-based IM system


the basic IM capability dates from Feb 1999

From the TenCent site, "Founded in Shenzhen in November, 1998, Tencent is recognized as the operator of the leading Internet community in China. Tencent's instant messaging service platform, "QQ," was formally launched in Feb 1999." - PhilWolff


QQ began offering SNS-type features (persistent homepage, as opposed to a more more transient buddy list) in 2005. So, in this sense it parallels AOL which pioneered the quasi-SNS (buddy list) but did not add persistent homepages (aimpages) and explicit revelation of links (F and/or FoaF) until 2006.


SMS (short messaging service) is hugely popular in China, and the interesting questions center on corporate jockeying around integrating the Tencent QQ PC-based system with the mobile carriers (China Mobile, China Unicom) SMS offerings. The providers of desktop IM (predominantly, but not exclusively QQ) want to hold on to their user base and integrate downward onto the mobile handset. The carriers want to use their hundreds of millions of SMS customers and integrate upward onto the desktop. As the distinction between SMS and MMS and IM and email continues to break down (and is supplemented by filesharing, VoIP, videochat, whiteboarding...), and as the distinction between computer and mobile (both are computers, differing primarily by their input devices - good keyboard on desktop versus poor keyboard on handset; handset has built-in barcode, QRcode, RFID, photographic and audio links to the physical world) breaks down, "ownership" of an entrenched user base may be more important than any given technology (as they are all converging on a single presence-informed buddy list with an escalating choice of comms options - IM, SMS, MMS, email, VoIP, videochat...)


speculation from Business Week of 13 Nov 2006 article Asia's mobile mashup free-for-all: "In the future, cell phones will likely feature a button that will automatically connect via the Net to a social-network site, which will greatly expand connectivity between handsets and home pages accessed through personal computers." (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/nov2006/tc20061113_773524_page_2.htm)

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