While I won’t assign it the “reinvention of the web” tag others are giving it quite yet, Opera Unite is something new in a space where we really don’t see truly fresh things very often. In a nutshell, it’s a mashup of “traditional” web services, peer-to-peer, and your browser; in more detail, it’s locally hosted file sharing and communications, with the following services out of the box:
- Media Sharing / Player
- File Sharing
- Web Server
- Photo Sharing
- Messaging (“Fridge”)
- Chat (“Lounge”)
Yes, we can install all those services on our own computers – many of us have done for years – but the social aspect makes them all much more accessible. It’s a bit clunky now, but in time – particularly if they hook up with Facebook Connect or similar – you’ll be able to find people and help people find you, and take complete control of your services.
I like this. I won’t use it right now because I couldn’t possibly move away from the browser I’ve created out of Firefox, butÂ when it comes out of beta I could well switch over. I like control over my data, and Unite gives it to me.