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Facebook’s Announcement Yesterday Was Lame

July 7, 2011

Facebook Video ChatFacebook made a BIG hype about a product announcement they were going to make yesterday and frankly it sucked.  Let me count the ways it annoyed me.

1. They started ten minutes late…Facebook you are no longer a small start up, buy a watch.  You are not entitled to be late because you are Facebook and people will wait for you.  It was rude.

2. Mark Zuckerberg babbled for another ten minutes until the viewer count got to 50,000 before actually making the announcement.  Apparently 50,000 is the magic number to dispense information too.

3.  It was not new products, it was product enhancements.

The three “new” products are enhanced functionality in group chats, a sidebar showing who is online (if your screen is large enough) and finally a partnership with Skype for video chats within Facebook.  None of this is new, so why the hype of a big press conference?  Furthermore, I question if these products will be successful or useful.  The group chat is the only one of the three that I see myself using regularly.  The ability to bring more than one person into a chat will be nice.  As for the sidebar of who is online, I really don’t want it.  I think it was nice that it was a little difficult for people to find out if you were online so that people didn’t bug you without a purpose.  If it is very obvious who is online and who is not I think you’ll see more people turning the chat function off.  I already know several people who never have it on.  That brings us to the final and largest announcement, the integration of Skype on Facebook.  I haven’t tried the functionality out yet but in my experience video chatting isn’t all it is cracked up to be.  I’ve found it to be a little unnatural and awkward for personal relationships.  Business situations seem to work better for me, but maybe this is just me.  The good thing about this new feature is that, like most things on Facebook, it is very easy to use.  In the past you had to download Skype and create a user name, now that is not necessary within Facebook.

I could be wrong and all of these new features could be wildly popular but I’m a little skeptical….I’d like to see something truly innovative from Facebook that isn’t just a tweek of a product.  I’m scared that maybe they’ve just gotten to big to take those risks like they use to.


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