Speed is proving to be a source of competitive advantage. The big boys of social media – Google, Facebook & Twitter – are squeezing out every second of waiting time on their platform to gain ascendancy over each other.
Take video. To view one, a link has to be clicked and thereafter it takes an eternity, I mean 3-5 seconds, to load. Or on another occasion the link has to be copied & pasted for the video to download, which takes at least a few seconds. No matter what route to view a video there is, a frustrating wait spanning 3-10 seconds awaits. More & more people are consuming content on their mobile screens. And loading content takes an eternity – I mean 3-10 seconds. But for millennials, it is an eternity too long!
Facebook decided to address this pain point by introducing Autoplay Video – the video is embedded in the content & is always ready to play. A user merely has to click to appropriate button to start viewing it, without having to wait for it to download! Google & Twitter are partnering to create a web link & article storage system that would load the content in a few milliseconds – in a blink of an eye! Twitter has already squeezed out precious seconds from live broadcasting. Periscope empowers each one of us to live broadcast events around us – uncensored & instantly!
By the way, even a live broadcast is actually a ‘delayed’ telecast to ensure that any faux pas similar to Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction does not get broadcast live into peoples living rooms. There is always a delay of up to 5 seconds even in live broadcasting!
Business lesson for us: This is an era where the ‘speed’ of delivery of service will impart competitive advantage. It will be measured in milliseconds. That’s the level of service your company has to prepare to deliver.