Real Time Communications Featured Article

The Way of the Web

May 01, 2014

One of the beautiful things about the Internet is that it gives you exactly what you are looking for, whether that’s specific, targeted information or the opportunity to discover something new. You can start on one website, and end up looking at entirely new topic unexpectedly. It’s the beauty of “surfing” the Internet; riding the wave of the Web.

The other day, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed to catch up on the morning news and discussions. I ended up passing a tweet from one of my favorite radio stations, NASH FM 94.7, and ended up on its website. Soon enough, I was playing its live stream from the air as background ambiance as I went about my day. At one point, I clicked on the site tab to double check the name of a song I really enjoyed. Turns out, it was a new song by one of my favorite artists, and right next to the player was a link, “Local Tour Dates.”

Intrigued, I clicked and was brought to a new site listing all of David Nail’s upcoming tour dates. I realized he would be at the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun this summer. As a pretty frequent concertgoer at the Connecticut casino, I know that Wolf Den is a part of Mohegan Sun that hosts free concerts. One of my favorite artists, in a nearby venue, for free?! Awesome! Count me in.

Then I stopped, and started thinking about how I even got here. I didn’t set out to find upcoming David Nail tour dates. In fact, I hadn’t even been thinking about concerts whatsoever when I first logged on to Twitter. It was a matter of clicking stuff that was right in front of me and NASH FM understanding what I wanted as a consumer before I even really knew what I wanted.

Being immersed in the world of WebRTC and real-time communications, it’s become almost second nature for me to spot potential areas for WebRTC applications. In light of that, it was easy for me to imagine the next step in my scenario: Having an outlet to get directly in contact with a booking agent or Mohegan Sun representative, whether that’s via chat, calling or support. If I knew the concert was free but couldn’t figure out how to RSVP, I could speak to an agent directly from the browser, share my screen and have him or her show me step by step how to reserve my spot.

This idea of an integrated, seamless Web experience is the underlying motive behind WebRTC. It aims to bring real-time communications easily to a browser and eliminate any hassles in the way of that communication, such as downloads or plugins. This also means providing the same type of experience on mobile devices, as we increasingly use our smartphones, tablets and more to access the Internet and applications for the same, if not more, information we access on our desktops. This focus on mobile highlights the new mission from Facebook, which announced at its f8 Developer Conference new tools for cross-platform applications, inter-app link integration, increasing mobile app engagement and creating mobile ads. There are also engagement ads for mobile to offer immediate calls to action, such as “Book now” or “Listen now,” similar to many click-to-call buttons already implemented in many websites from WebRTC companies. As WebRTC functionality can also be embedded in applications, these tools will play a big role in the push for WebRTC as an important part of the mobile experience.

WebRTC understands the way of the Web – it’s all about integrating communications into our online habits and behavior. It’s powerful because it provides tools to get us what we are looking for, even if we might not know what that is yet.

Image via Shutterstock

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