- WHAT HAPPENED?
Facebook this week unleashed its new messaging system, which lets users sign up for an @Facebook.com e-mail address.
The service called Facebook Messages merges a user's e-mails, chats, messages and text conversations with another user all into one thread.
"If you want to reach out to your friend via text and they want to respond via e-mail, that's possible. If you want to use chat while they're using Facebook messages, that'll work, too. And all those different communications will live in one conversation," says this tutorial video released Nov. 15. It also allows people without Facebook accounts to interact with Facebook users.
- HOW ARE PEOPLE RESPONDING?
I scoured the Twitterverse to find reactions about the new Facebook Messages platform, which is available on an invite-only basis for now.
"I'm intensely jealous of the next generation who will have something like Facebook for their whole lives," said Facebook software engineer Joel Seligstein on the site's blog.
"They will have the conversational history with the people in their lives all the way back to the beginning: From 'hey nice to meet you' to 'do you want to get coffee sometime' to 'our kids have soccer practice at 6 pm tonight.' That's a really cool idea."
Here are the public's reactions.
- NEGATIVE REACTIONS:
- Alirio Pirela (@AlirioP), a graphic designer who blogs about the relationship between brands and consumers, linked to @PCworld's commentary explaining why Facebook Messages is "the worst thing that ever happened."
In the piece, blogger Sarah Purewal (@geeklil) cites four primary reasons why the new service is bad: You can't delete messages, non-Facebook friends can e-mail you, there are no subject lines and automatic friendships.
"Oh. Dear. Lord," she exclaims at one point.
- Public relations person Simon Hilliard (@SimonHill) compares Facebook Messages to Google Wave, which developers launched in May 2009 but announced in August 2010 it would be discontinued.
"Facebook Messages may be fantastic for Facebook users. Or it may meet much the same reaction as Wave did. A kind of ‘huh?’ followed by ‘I don’t get it’ and ‘but what’s it for?’" he said. "That’s humans for you, we’re a hard lot to please. ... I don’t think this is going to work. Now watch it become a runaway success."
- Two words from web and mobile developer Jason Kneen (@JasonKneen) sums up his feelings for Facebook Messages: "no thanks."
- NEUTRAL REACTION:
- CNET editor at large Rafe Needleman told PBS NewsHour (above) that Facebook wanted to make communications more informal and faster. "You can theoretically use Facebook as your e-mail system," he said. "If you want to do that, Facebook now makes that possible."
- POSITIVE REACTIONS:
- Robert Scoble (@Scobleizer), who looks for "world-changing" technologies as an employee for web-hosting company Rackspace, gives Facebook Messages a favorable review (below).
- "So far, I like it. It's not an e-mail killer. I don't feel impelled to give up Gail or (Microsoft) Exchange," Scoble said in his audio review. "I'm attracted to it. ... It's quick and dirty and seems to be faster."
"I'm still playing with some of the features (such as forwarding). I can use it for business-style messages."
- Mahei Foliaki, who tweets as @Iconic88, lists 10 reasons why Twitter should watch out for Facebook Messages.
For example, reason No. 9 reads, "If Facebook's new messaging system comes with meta data (which could be charged to businesses), businesses will be able to see a history of social interactions by people enabling better decisions at target marketing. More context and content rich than Twitter as it stands today."
- OTHER REACTIONS: