Yesterday, I watched the unveiling of Facebook’s ‘next generation messaging system’ which CEO Mark Zuckerberg insists is not an ’email killer’.
The messaging system which is modeled more after chat than traditional email will aggregate different forms of communication such as texting, chat, SMS, and email to provide ‘seamless messaging’.
According to Zuckerberg, traditional email is archaic and slow while the new system will be informal, immediate, personal, short and simple. The idea behind this new product is to give users the flexibility to communicate in real-time using the platform of their choice.
For example if your best friend prefers to communicate via texting, your mother prefers email and your girlfriend prefers chatting, the new Facebook messaging system will allow you to reach each one of them using whatever device or platform that they prefer.
Facebook will gradually offer an optional @facebook.com email account to all users . Initially however, the system will be offered to select invitees only and then gradually opened up to the general public.
I think email service providers have a reason to be concerned. As the new system is gradually rolled out, I think there will be an increasing anticipation and excitement by Facebook users. And if this system is all that it is hyped up to be, I can see a mass movement of younger people abandoning traditional email for the Facebook messaging system.
In the meantime, Facebook still has has some housekeeping to do. Privacy concerns are still are big issue with users. It seems that every new product that Facebook introduces (tagging, Friendship etc) raises questions about access to personal information.
I am a big Facebook fan, and definitely excited about this new announcement. I believe that Facebook will finally change the way we communicate.
What is your reaction to Facebook’s new messaging system?