Facebook leader Mark Zuckerberk announced they have launched a next-generation, online messaging service that wraps together email, SMS and instant messaging in a move that is seen as a way to cut out rivals like Google and Yahoo! on this Monday. Zuckerberg also said the new service will be based on the principal that messaging should be instant, placing it in direct competition with Gmail’s conversation-led email platform.
The new service will be offering an address for people @facebook.com( or @fb.com ) allowing them to use the address for email as well as a bunch of other services.
In fact, Facebook is now worth a staggering $41bn (£25.5bn), valuing it ahead of online auction site eBay. It makes Facebook the third largest online firm in the US. It still trails in the wake of Google($192.9bn) and Amazon($74.4bn), but sails past eBay, which is worth $39.4bn.
Facebook Messages service is not only another email account, it combines email, SMS, chat and IM all in one location allowing users to contact each other by various means.
Today I’m excited to announce the next evolution of Messages. You decide how you want to talk to your friends: via SMS, chat, email or Messages. They will receive your message through whatever medium or device is convenient for them, and you can both have a conversation in real time. You shouldn’t have to remember who prefers IM over email or worry about which technology to use. Simply choose their name and type a message.
It seems Google Wave already did that, so why is everyone talking about Facebook killing email? As a social networking site, besides facebook there are many other social networking sites we can make friend with like Myspace, orkut, twitter and many more. But why do we/you use facebook?
All the features like its easy to use, the options such as status, links, videos updates and sharing information etc. All are also available in other networks. But why facebook?
For most people, Facebook is one of the places where you can truly be yourself and not have to worry. I’m not sure it will be one reason? But I think it should be the same reason we "google" everything, but not “yahoo” or “AOL” or others. It is a habit.
Why are people excited about FB e-mail?
Over the weekend, AOL announced a preview of another new email service dubbed Project Phoenix. It says that its preview release launched on Sunday is a major milestone in its efforts to "provide the best consumer experiences on the Internet".
"We see a huge opportunity to disrupt email in a big way.", the president of AOL’s consumer applications group said.
Unfortunately, AOL isn’t really known for innovation.
While AOL fumbles around to barely catch up with its competitors, the world and its dog is expecting privacy shredding social network Facebook to unveil its email service.
E-mail was always an ad-hoc social messaging tool, and now Facebook will be making it completely social by mixing it with social graphs, news feed, and Facebook page integrations. Yes, it’s not only an email account, it’s Facebook Messagages.
"It is true that people will be able to have facebook.com email addresses, but this is not email,"
Mark Zuckerberk said.
Is FB really a Gmail killer?
If Facebook provides unlimited space, really unlimited space, integrates messaging with contacts(import contacts from FB), will you stop using Gmail or others as my primary id, switch to FB?
“if Facebook mails isn’t good I’m guessing won’t take long for the “f(M)ail” to emerge as a meme.”
But if Facebook email is good (and maybe even if it isn’t), it could lure some of Facebook’s 500 million users away from their current email services and shake up the existing landscape.
Electronic Frontiers Australia chairman Colin Jacobs said:
"Of course, email, we use it at work all the time and obviously this isn’t something that’s going to replace that anytime soon."
In fact, Mr Jacobs says other similar systems to Facebook’s offering, like Google Wave, have tried and failed to crack the market.
Within Gmail it already lets people chat, e-mail and make phone calls. Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft are also working on incorporating messages from Facebook, Twitter and other social sites into their main e-mail systems.
What Facebook has that Gmail doesn’t have, is people’s real identities, plus a map of their real-life relationships and online interactions. Facebook can use what it knows of these relationships to build a social inbox.
"It may not be a Gmail killer, but it could be nibbler,"
Altimeter Group analyst Charlene Li said.
You also shouldn’t forget that the first Internet e-mail system arrived in the early 1970s, and e-mail is still a primary form of communication for most people.
What are the main misgivings about FB email?
FB is risking its reliability by adding too many features
In fact, Google learned the hazards of melding e-mail with socializing earlier this year when it planted a Facebook-like service called "Buzz" into Gmail. When Buzz launched, many of its early users to inadvertently open up lists of e-mail contacts to outsiders. The ensuing privacy flap elicited an apology from Google, which also recently settled a lawsuit over the misstep.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how popular Facebook Messages will become. For you,
"More competition is always good because competition makes the market larger,"
Google CEO Eric Schmidt said.