It’s great to see a social network integrating features of different styles of communications such as the ones seen in email, chat, SMS. As internet users, we want to have many convenient functions available at our disposal. This process can make Facebook users spend time more seamlessly and effectively, not necessarily converting more people into hardcore users, but as savvy Internet users.
The upcoming features do remind people some aspects of Google Wave, the one to-be-discontinued service that still has many interesting features, but not enough users who would use it or got to use it. Wave felt more like a virtual office, for chatting and exchanging ideas and files and info on-the-fly. It lacked features of social network and integration, something Facebook-ey in which Google has not succeed yet at.
Zuckerberg and friends are trying to offer a service that is seamless, quick and efficient into a brand-new Messages section, plus facebook.com email.
The messages section will be divided into 3 separate folders according to a user’s needs and familiarity with other users. The “Social Inbox” keeps a history of conversations with your favorite and most active contacts. The “Other” folder stores communication of less priority, or from people who initially are not on Facebook, though users can choose to move those users’ messages into the “Social Inbox. The “Spam” bin keeps the messages it believes belong there.
As far as messages go, users will be able to select how they will receive messages, besides being able to conduct a real-time text conversation. Chats will be saved on the network.
A facebook.com email address could for sure create competition against Microsoft’s Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, and GMail. This would also allow FB users to communicate with users outside of the network. Subject lines, cc’s or bcc’s will not be needed with the goal of creating speedy communication as done in chats after logging in to whatever network.
Message history in “Social Box,” unlike the ones in email, will be organized not by the usual, chronological email order, but grouped together by user contacts.
After speaking to high school teens about making the social network a better one, Zuckerberg seems to be on the right track in more ways than one. As the site grows, some users may start abandoning other services in favor of Facebook because of the ease of use especially among the teen and tween population, but perhaps most netizens will keep their current services that are somehow linked to their Facebook accounts. Many teens and tweens may not be using MySpace as much as before because of Facebook. Also, offering optional email accounts can take away some of the load at other services. For new users to the web or to social networks, though, this could be a great destination to begin with as the number of users keeps growing every day. As more people use Facebook, businesses may be getting more customers.
In regards to communication in this decade, Google and Facebook are competing neck to neck when it comes to integration. Are we still going to see a “Facebook killer” from Google anytime soon? Time will tell.
Source/Fuente: Facebook overhauling inbox, combining e-mail, texting and IM [http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/social.media/11/15/facebook.email/index.html?npt=NP1], Zuckerberg: Our System Is Not An Email Killer. But If It Dies As A Result… [http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/15/facebook-email-killer/], Facebook Launches Google Wave [http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2010/11/facebook-launches-google-wave.html].