The iPad is here. See my initial gut reaction to the iPad. Long story short, I am enthused about it with some reservations. But since I am usually thinking about how this stuff impacts search and social media, I’ve begun to contemplate the iPad (and by extension the entire slate computing universe) as it affects search and social.
Since the iPad is a giant iPhone and it is designed to be a mobile device, and as such, it will have a unique local bent to its searches. While it may not have GPS, the iPad will be generating tons of location-based searches. Because of its ease of use and instant on capabilities, I can absolutely see the iPad becoming the weapon of choice for the coffee shop warrior. So, search will become more local, more contextual. That is great. That is incredible, actually. The iPad can be a boon for hyper-local sites like CitySquares and Patch. The search engines will continue to find that mix of location and contextual content to be compelling, and I believe that slate-based searches will be algorithmically directed towards hyperlocal information. It just makes sense.
I also think that the rise in touch based computing will change the way that search marketing works. We’ve already seen the way that Google is changing search with more images in the SERPs and the paid ads. And as slate-based computing ascends, seemingly the internet becomes a more visual place. Guiding a cursor to click on something has a different level of intimacy than pointing with your finger. Search marketing and display advertising collide in the world of touch screens, and I think display wins the day. (Granted, it is display 2.0, with incredible tracking, personalized targeting, etc. So, not banner ads that win…think more like super-targeted banners. The best of what AdWords has to offer with a dose of richness and interactivity.) It’ll be hot.
As for social media, and social interactivity, I believe that slate is the place to be. Rarely do I got to Facebook on my laptop…almost always my phone. Ditto Twitter. Slate wins here, too. The heavy textual base of social will change somewhat. I believe that most social media interaction will happen from mobile and slate devices. This will drive a slight change into the way things work. And as slate and mobile devices get better video capabilities (and HTML 5 video arrives in force) I think that video responses and interactions will increase. (This will really happen when the iPhone & Android phones get front facing cameras…).
So, in a nutshell, search becomes more visual and targeted. Social becomes more video & image, and less text. Whaddya think?