Can Facebook's New Messaging System transform the way we communicate?
As many waited the unveiling of a quintessential @facebook.com kind of an email service from Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg thought it would be more fitting to launch his latest service as the "Modern Messaging System". He started his product launch presentation speech by referring to a bunch of school kids he spoke to who, according to him, considered the email communications system that exists right now to be very 'slow' and 'too formal'. And this has provoked a need gap that Mark wants to fill in; hence the launch of a messaging system.
What will it do?
Though it was rumoured that this new messaging method would be called Titan, there was no such confirmation of christening the new service during its launch. So let's just refer to it as the 'new messaging service'. What will the 'new messaging service' have up its sleeve? Since it is meant to simplify the communication methods of users, all it does is handling emails received from all of a Facebook user's friends, integrate his/ her IMs, SMSes and also Facebook messages.
There will also exist a 'social inbox' in a user's Facebook account whose purpose is to help users view, customize and manage all his 'conversations'. It is a given that the conversations referred to here are the users IM chat messages, SMSes, etc. There will also be present an automatic setting which shall create whitelists based on a users' conversations, giving priority to those that matter the most on his/ her list.
Why? What for? - The Logic
The logic behind launching this service is predominantly for the reason as told by Mark i.e., serving the gap of the existence of 'very slow' and 'too formal' email services. Also, with a user base of over 500 million that specializes in communicating, sharing, gaming, etc. it makes perfect sense for Facebook to have its own email, (oops) sorry a 'new messaging service' of its own. It must be described as a logical step because Facebook can easily tap into user data to provide an attractive, highly personalized service. Speculations are that Facebook can also push mobile features given its big move in this direction, much to the delight of the users.
Also, there is a business reason to it; this new service will help it go beyond Facebook walls and reach the other end of users. Since, the existing messaging system enables users to communicate with only members of Facebook, the emergence of a new service that could reach people beyond Facebook's wall was required; which I think shall be fulfilled with the launch of the 'new messaging service'.
This new product is not intended to target professionals and hence it isn't a work-email-service. It is more so, aimed at teenage users and also for people who enjoy their personal way of communicating, chatting and messaging. It redefines the email system which relies on the regular and mundane way of sending and receiving mails. Here, you can expect fun along with communicating with your loved ones and even with those who aren't affiliated with Facebook or do not possess a Facebook account.
There are also some news articles that claim this to be the Gmail killer. However, I beg to differ on this one. Gmail, is a regular email service that caters to people's communication needs, however it does so mostly on a professional front and also helps a small chunk of self-employed professionals. It is also used as a substitute for the regular office mails (during emergencies). What Facebook will have does not seem like a weapon prepared to kill off Gmail, though it comes close to posing competition to the Search Giant in its email service line.
A brand new service indeed and this could give rise to yet another phenomenon in the internet arena.