Monday, November 15, 2010

Facebook Messages is not just Email. Nor is Gmail. What's new?

Let me start out by pointing out the obvious - Facebook has been nothing short of a revolution in how we live our online lives. It connects me better to my friends, family and co-workers. It has inspired changes in how our work lives are changing.

Facebook Email Will Be Successful But That Doesn't Mean Its Different!


I have now read at least 13 blog posts on the Facebook's grand unification of messages from email, text and chat all in one box filtered via your social graph - as the future of communication.

I am yet to find anything that's truly new.

I have been using Gmail for years and here is what I see:

  • Gmail stores all my Google Talk chat messages unless I go off record.
  • Gmail stores all my email.
  • Gmail prioritizes my inbox based on not just my address book (which is not much different from my social graph) but also other factors like which email I have responded to.
  • I use Google Voice so I get my text messages and voice messages (transcribed) in my Inbox and its all in one place.
So, all I want to know is how is this new @facebook.com fundamentally different. Take a look at the explanation and the FAQ, and you tell me. In fact, certain features like how you capture SMS messages seem to be fairly awkward compared to my Google Voice.

The few things that could be better with Facebook but nothing prevents Google from doing the same are:
  • Better spam filtering.
  • Native apps for iPhone, Android etc. to capture my text messages (SMS).
Despite all this, I still want to try Facebook Messages (or Email as media is calling it). And I think it will gain wide adoption. I just am not seeing breakthrough innovation,.. yet. And I am happy to wait.

1 comment:

Anurag Sharma said...

Forget about online media hype; maximum facebook message can become -one of the option for sending message but cannot be substitute because apart from friends, no one is going to send email from his facebook profile to strangers, companies etc.as no one wants to reveal too much information about himself in first instant.
And I think that's by buzz failed as they tried to bring email contacts privacy to one's profile.