Why Angry Birds +could+ turn into a major identity player

LeWeb 2010

Right now when I want to share my identity with a new service, I usually turn to Facebook. Why?

1. It knows my social graph (IE, the people who I want to be associated with online).
2. It has an identity API (IE, when I sign into, say, CinchCast, that has a way to talk to Facebook and get info from me).
3. It knows a lot about me, including what kind of music, what movies, what website, what drinks, what activities, what food, and more, that I like.
4. I keep it up to date because of social pressure of other members (if you change your email, for instance, watch what happens if you don’t change your address — people bug you).
5. Me, and nearly everyone I know, is on it.

So, right now how does Angry Birds compare?

1. Doesn’t have it.
2. Doesn’t have it.
3. Doesn’t know it.
4. Oh, yeah, we play every day.
5. Oh, yeah, the other day I walked into my doctor’s office with my son and literally EVERYONE in the office was playing Angry Birds. Old. Young. And others.

Now I have some inside knowledge. I was talking with an exec who works at Rovio the other night at the DLD conference and he hinted that Angry Birds would be turning on a gaming network soon.

Why? Well, what’s the worst thing about Angry Birds? That when you get to a new level on one device, all your other devices don’t know about it.

But, let’s take it further. Angry Birds could prompt you to give up a lot of the information Facebook does today. Why? They would trade you “Angry Birds points” for knowing what kind of books you read. Or what movies you’ve seen lately. Or what beer you like drinking.

It could even open up new levels for players that shared a lot of info with the system.

Yesterday I was in a workshop for Lufthansa where they asked us to build a “Facebook airline.” It was amazing to hear how willing the high-mileage travelers in the room were to give up their personal data to have better service.

Would I join an Angry Birds social graph? Damn straight I would and I’d probably urge you to join up too.

It isn’t hard to see how they would become the coolest social network within a month or two. Even cooler than Quora. Heheh. After all, a lot more people identify with Angry Birds than identify with other services online (the same exec told me they can’t keep Angry Birds merchandise in stock).

Maybe this is the competition Facebook needs. Diaspora? Give me a break, that will never keep Facebook honest. Angry Birds, though, could become a major competitor for Facebook and could keep them worried about their future existence, the way Facebook is now keeping Google’s founders up at night.

What do you think? And, if you don’t like it, just pretend I’m a pig and send some of those birds my way!


Photo credit: Loic Le Meur at LeWeb 2010 By Hervé Corcia.