And to be fair, it’s not just e-mail. It’s true that Facebook will be inviting their users to take up an @facebook.com address in the coming months, but their inbox will cope with a lot more than just e-mail.
From your single account you can link in your e-mails, facebook messages, instant messages (which is likely to include Twitter at some point methinks) and SMS messages. In fact Zuckerberg wants pretty much all of your online communication to go through your new @facebook.com account.
The first thing to note about this is it’s extremely ambitious. Companies are constantly trying to converge, make one thing do more (just look at the latest smartphones), but never has anyone put all of communication in one place. It’s a mammoth task, 15 programmers have spent a year working on this.
But of course if this works it will be phenomenal. Imagine how convenient it could be to have everything in one place. I can start a conversation of a Facebook message, go out and continue it by text, get my Facebook app out for a bit of instant chat and then finish off with and e-mail and it would all be part of the same convo. All in one place, accessible from anywhere… brilliant.
All in the same place, accessible anywhere… terrible.
It’s a nice idea, but in reality, I’m not sure I like it. E-mail inboxes can be tough enough to look through as it is, let alone adding in every other form of communication available. I’m sure the bigwigs at Facebook are woking on a way to make this user friendly (and to give them their fair do’s, Facebook is one of the most a very user-friendly website’s on the net), but I personally cannot see it working.
I also do not like the idea of the majority of my online communication going through Facebook, a site already having problems over user-privacy. Where are my conversations going, what other companies are benefitting and does Facebook technically own all my words. It’s too much power all to one company and that never ends well.
Having said all that, maybe they have already won, after all, I’m already finding that more and more contacts use the site and crucially they always reply to their Facebook messages, sometimes ignoring their e-mails.
Faceboook’s come a long long way from ‘the social network’ in the film of the same name…