WebRTC is the new battleground for peer-to-peer vs. server-based models for communications

It would be wrong to classify Google as being purely objective here either. Despite high-profile moves like Google Voice, Gmail and Chat, I think that its dirty secret is that it doesn’t actually want to control or monetise communications per se. I suspect it sees a trillion-dollar market in telecoms services such as phone calls and SMS’s that could – eventually – be dissipated to near-zero and those sums diverted into alternate businesses in cloud infrastructure, advertising and other services.

I suspect Google believes (as do I) that a lot of communications will eventually move “into” applications and contexts. You’ll speak to a taxi driver from the taxi app, send messages inside social networks, or conclude business deals inside a collaboration service. You’ll do interviews “inside” LinkedIn, message/speak to possible partners inside a dating app etc. If your friend wants to meet you at the pub, you’ll send the message inside a mapping widget showing where it is… and so on.

I think Google wants to monetise communications context rather than communications sessions, through advertising or other enabling/exploiting capabilities.

Feature or Product (aka Service)? Perhaps like cameras they will remain both, albeit the Product version being a little more niche.

Hail A Fellow Human, Not A Taxi With ???SideCar??? ??? The New P2P Uber

Punch in your location and destination and soon a civilian SideCar driver agrees to take you. Plus, thanks to background checks and a rating system (which we grill CEO Sunil Paul about in a video interview below), you might be less likely to be murdered than in a traditional cab or meeting anyone on Craigslist. SV Angel, Lerer, Ventures, and Mark Pincus are all investors, because they see how SideCar could rethink transportation, and make it so you never buy another car.

Peer to peer transport co-ordination