Could Facebook Change The Way We Communicate Online?…
Yesterday, more than 30 THOUSAND of us took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy Facebook’s new live streaming technology to watch live as they announced an upcoming major change to the Facebook platform.
If you haven’t have a chance to check out the new live stream application be sure you do, it rocks and the recordings are nice to listen to on your own time! You can find it here:
So what’s the news?
Major (and totally cool) Changes Coming for the Facebook Messaging/Inbox/Chat System!
Facebook is… over the next few months… (very slow roll-out) going to replace the current messaging system with something that is actually fairly revolutionary.
It will integrate and cross connect with email (all existing email platforms), SMS, Chat/Instant Messaging.
No more having to remember that your mom checks her email but doesn’t check Facebook or that the only way to reach your cousin is by SMS.
It means that I can set up filtering to have all of my best friend’s notifications of messages come to me by SMS, I can have all of the messages from people that are “white listed” (by default your Facebook friends but easy to also add your regular email contacts too even if they are not Facebook users) go to a sort of “priority” folder, and that I can have the equivalent of a “less urgent” folder for all the things I allow to send me messages (such as my favorite groups) that are not urgent but I still want to receive.
This is actually a huge technology change and if it all pans out as it very well could, over the course of the next couple years it could definitely impact they way we communicate online in general.
It will use single thread layout like instant messaging does (think about how a Skype dialog looks) and it will allow some filtering within for individuals that we want to see their messages more prominently versus those that we receive because we want them but they are not urgent.
What the New Code-Named “Titan” Messaging System Is Not: An Email Killer
Regardless of all the hype and arguments between Facebook and Google its important not to look at the new software in light of things you already do because this new interface technology will actually be “limited” the minute our brains try to shove it into the old email model (when in fact it works with email just fine).
You will have the option of getting a Facebook.com email address – that will be based on your current Facebook username (see http://facebook.com/username) but it is not essential, required or mandatory in any way. The benefit though is that email users that are not on Facebook will be able to interact with the new system, and with you, via that email address as though they were actually on the new platform themselves. No one is left out!
We’ve seen hints that pages may get an email address too, again based on their vanity url/username… but this is unconfirmed at this time.
Unlike what Google Wave tried to be and failed at – Facebook’s new model is “open” in such a way that it will be able to “talk” to all email platforms, SMS platforms and while it will work best with one of their applications will not even require a smart phone to make good use of (but a texting plan is a must for SMS use). For the technically inclined, it already “speaks” POP3 and full IMAP and JABBER support (along with support for other things) is on its way.
True integration between not just Facebook but email, SMS, and instant messaging, back and forth, real time… and no having to remember who prefers which format, and complete granular control over who can/cant send messages to you within the platform… is hot!
Want to archive all of it straight into your GMail account? Go right ahead. Want to archive that SMS dialog that is using the system straight into Facebook for review later? Go right ahead. Want to easily pull up that chat log from a half dozen places within it even if you’re not exactly in the chat box? Go right ahead. The model is fluid, cross-connected, and over time learns your preferences, your friends, and which devices you prefer based on how you mark individual messages.
I think they really caught my heart strings when they talked about how Grandma used to have all of her letters from Grandpa in a shoebox that was precious to her – but today because we are across so many media types, all of our conversations are “stuck” in different platforms and we have no way to get them all together. This could very well solve that.
I’m certain it will have some massive growing pains because the technology side of it is really huge… but given time and enough TLC this may very well be a game changer.
It of course brings to mind even further privacy issues, but when we start talking about email type services there is not a single large email provider that hasn’t screwed privacy up for its customers at LEAST once so I guess Facebook will fit right in… Even with the risks I’m optimistic… No, I’m more than optimistic, I’m excited!
Want to request early-access to the brand new Facebook messaging system? All you need to do is visit http://www.facebook.com/about/messages/ and click on the “Request Invite” button.
I’m excited! What about you? What are your thoughts on the new Facebook Messaging system? Over the next few months, as more and more of us gain access to the new system (and patiently help them get the bugs out!) I look forward to comparing and sharing more notes with you! Leave me your thoughts in the comment box below and I appreciate your shares, tweets, diggs and stumbles!
I can’t wait to connect with you through the new message platform!
PS: If we aren’t already friends on Facebook, I’d love to connect with you there! You can find me at – be sure to include a message with your request so I see it right away! Once we’re connected, stop in and tell me more about you, and feel free to leave me a link to your fan page and I’ll come join you there as well! You can find mine at https://www.facebook.com/Ask.Kim (If you’ve sent a request before, likely without a message, and I haven’t seen it, you can go to Account -> Edit friends -> search for my name, delete the invite and send a new one!)