Google are turning Play into a 'social network' (of sorts)
So I'm sure we've all seen the 'Recent Activity' bit of the Play Store (on Android) now. I'm really liking it, but it's kinda hidden away at the moment, hard to find etc. I think I know where Google _might_ be going with it.
Google Play has lots of categories - Devices, Music, (Android) Apps, TV & Movies, Magazines, News. Of course they're not all available in all countries, but that's beside the point - imagine if all these categories were added into the Play Store's Recent Activity. Music Phil (my name) listens to. Apps he's downloaded or bought. Movies he likes. TV shows he watches. Books he's read. etc etc. You'd essentially have a Google Play profile, and be able to see what friends are doing and what apps people are downloading, music they're listening to or TV shows are hot right now. Apps is only the first step for this - Google must be taking it much, much further.
I'm really hoping more and more of Google Play gets social - let's take Music as an example. I think one of the most requested features for Google Play Music is shared playlists - and rightly so. They work awesomely on Spotify, and from my experience, it's what's stopping a lot of people from switching. Another thing I'd like to see is a music profile for each user - so you can see their shared playlists (if they have any), their favorite tracks, which artists they listen to, the radio stations they use. Stuff like that. I think, feature wise, it's where Google could be taking Play Music, and Google Play, in general.
Let's take another step - imagine if this was all integrated into Google+. If I saw what my Circled Friends were listening to on Play Music, and if on a Google+ Profile it showed the Google Play content front and centre - the games they're currently playing and the achievements they've got, an app they recommend, or what TV shows they like.
Social is often touted as 'the next big thing', and while it sounds clichéd, I think it probably is - in fact, it is 'the big thing', not 'the next big thing'. iTunes is just a store, and it's a long-thought thing that Apple doesn't really 'get' the internet. But Google most definitely do, and social integration, Google+ and Play, are their weapons of attack.