This kind of falls in line with my confusion as to why people ruin their websites with all these components and hooks into Facebook. They claim that they need Facebook Likes and Logins and Discussions in their websites, because Facebook drives traffic. Even if they hate it, they have to succumb to it. You know, for generating traffic. My question remains - why do you want to try appealing to a group of people to whom Facebook is "the internet" and who do everything through Facebook? Those people aren't going to make a point of going to your website again, unless someone links them to it a second time down the road. It seems like a lot of resources (not to mention website screen real-estate) given up for very little desirable return.
This is exactly why I turned chat off. I have no desire to be contacted by old high school classmates who happen to be bored and browsing facebook, and see me pop up.
(Personally, I still feel surprised whenever I see anyone even using Facebook chat.)
With the old chat design, choose chat at the bottom right, then the "Friend lists" menu item in the chat window, and add the friends list you want to affect chat availability, and then turn availability on/off to particular lists.
Useful for parents and work colleagues who don't use other IM or who you don't want to give your personal IM accounts to.
I think its largest drawback was using account numbers, instead of allowing alphanumeric vanity names.
I don't know, was you the only person on that service and thus have no-one to talk to?
In short, Facebook likely contains everyone you've ever met or dealt with in person or online and "friended" that can potentially chat with you -- IM likely contains only the people you actually need to chat with.
"Everyone is there" is becoming an increasingly poor reason to justify selling your soul to a particular social network (as an individual or a business).
They've basically just brought facebook chat on par with instant messengers from the 2000s except you have to install something additional for video chat.
The parent is asking the equivalent of why you'd add maps to google when you have a perfectly good road map out in the car.
There are many people (including me) who have been using the internet for a very very very long time and don't see facebook as the internet even though we use it.
And I can see that I get quite a few sign-ups to my service that way.
Also the problem is not as much whether people use it for traffic generation. The problem is when they only use it for that.
I am actually beginning to consult my clients on how to build their own digital ecosystems so that they don't leave all the value inside the gates of facebook, twitter etc. but rather attempt to get the value transfered back inside their own ecosystem.
Once you start seeing it that way things start to look very different.
I made a longer argument about it here:
Considering they had to have known about G+ for a while before it launched, you would think they would really hit something out of the park in terms of competitive features. These are all pretty lackluster, imho.
FB's announcement today has spent a lot of time talking about how much work it was to implement...
It's got to be a huge kick in the pants to them. I kind of feel bad for them.
Facebook is now the ubiquitous video chat social network, built on Skype. Google+ is Circles on your Gmail. Everything else you say requires some level of convincing.
Remember that this video chat is not a web page. It's a Microsoft (and Apple? I don't know) desktop application that integrates into their web page.
I'm suggesting that Facebook is showing their alliance to Microsoft by ignoring some other OSs and launching Microsoft-powered features. If you include video chat as an integral part of Facebook, then you can no longer call Facebook a web site.
At the same time, when Buzz came out, it was even faster and cleaner. Just not placed in the right context. There must have been some lessons and technology learned from Buzz.
Whichever, G+ or FB, manages to capture the buzz of "hangouts with famous people" will probably take the current round. This to me is the iteration of one of Twitter's big wins; the chance to rub shoulders with "stars".
For me, and I suspect most here, such things don't really matter. I'll stay with FB as long as most of my friends are there and it works reasonably well.
I sent my wife the intro link for Google+ when they launched and she couldn't even be bothered to check it out. Why? Because everyone she knows is on facebook.
If her friends move, then she'll move. It'll probably annoy her to have to switch too.
And every of her friends will move if the other friends move, etc. But in reality, it is enough if only one of her friends, the most influential one moves, and then all the worker bees will follow.
> Because everyone she knows is on facebook.
But why is everyone on facebook in the first place? Because one of them, the group leader, the early adopter, the trend setter, decided first, then the rest passively followed. If the trend setter again decides to go G+, the effort to move off Facebook will be less then losing the queen bee, so they will follow again.
I'm wondering what made the group leaders adopt? Was it features? Trendy name and logo? Did it seem like the hip thing to do? Exclusivity / scarcity?
Older video: "Merchants of Cool"
Or look at a Goog search "marketing trendsetters | "trend-setter"
Lots of noise. The Merchants of Cool is a good relevant watch.
Pretty much all of the really useful features are also big privacy violators, and with the uncertainty around how the public views social networking privacy, FB is smart to wait and let Google make the first move.
From a technical implementation perspective maybe Hangout is better. However, from a social networking perspective 3/4 of a billion Skype users is clearly better. And from a marketing perspective, giving Skype users worldwide a reason to choose Facebook over competing products is brilliant.
1) The average person knows more people on Facebook, then people with a Gmail account.
2) You, and your other geeky friends live in Gmail. The rest of the world lives inside Facebook.
To me, there's exactly one compelling thing about Facebook: It illustrated that normal humans will join and use a social network.
Beyond that, I don't see any reason why their adoption patterns will differ from those we've already seen with other humans on other "social" web properties (Hi Livejournal/Facethejury/Friendster et al!). Which is to say, the enthusiastic folks eventually get those who joined begrudgingly involved, everyone has fun for a while, then everyone gets bored and moves on.
It's not as if nerds who have SRS PRIVACY CONCERNZ and talk about things like data portability are the only people growing weary of Facebook. An approximate majority of the musicians/DJs/artists I know in real life and on the internet say they hate Facebook but maintain an account for promotional purposes. But they all seem to have really warmed up to Twitter. (Specifically, most in the music crowd seem to have adopted a combination of Twitter and Soundcloud as their primary internet residencies, filling the void where MySpace once resided.)
To assume that Facebook will remain the social network of note just because they're Facebook, or just because they got there first (sort of) seems naïve.
The network effect will be the primary driver of where we all—geeks and normies alike—end up next. Facebook doesn't really have any control over that. And we've seen that the network effect can linger even after the product has effectively failed (Hi MySpace!), so having the network now may not be a reliable indicator that they'll keep it, even in the very near term.
And that leaves the product. Which is fine, I guess. Not that bad, not that great. But when Google announces their first real crack at a genuine social network and it has features no one's even talked about yet, and it's cooked directly into their mobile platform running on about 180 Mm devices worldwide , Facebook's "awesome" reply, "We've got video chat now," falls flat. To me at least.
 Android/Google+ and some of the new iOS 5 features along with Apple's Twitter partnership have me semi-convinced that we're moving towards the transparent social network, where membership has much more to do with which smartphone you buy than anything else. I predict that in a competition with Google and Apple/Twitter, Microsoft/Facebook will turn out to be also-rans. Also, poor RIM.
These never reached the audience Facebook has today. 750M users and growing, FB won social networking. Game over.
It's not as if nerds who have SRS PRIVACY CONCERNZ and talk about things like data portability are the only people growing weary of Facebook.
I guarantee you this is a very tiny portion. I live with someone who spends lots of time on FB ("Oh, look at this pictures from XYZ"). They don't even know there is a discussion going around privacy.
It will just as Microsoft has dominated the OS space. Another desktop OS is not going to kill MSFT, but maybe mobile will. Same for FB, it will take a different experience to get people to stop spending as much time on the site. Something like Instagram or With with a few added features/mechanisms.
I'm acquainted with hundreds of people like your roommate, and I'm aware that normal people don't give a shit about our geeky critiques of Facebook. What I was trying to communicate is that they likely won't bail on Facebook for those reasons, but they might because there are too many annoying people on Fb, or they don't want to get Faceskyped by their mom, or something that's more interesting or lower friction comes along, or other people move for a variety of reasons and they just follow.
FB won social networking. Game over.
I hate to put it this way, but what are you doing on HN? Seriously. I thought we'd all read The Innovator's Dillema. Nobody wins anything for long, the game's never over. That's sort of the point of capitalism.
I apologize if I offended you, Ryan. All I am asking for is for an example of one company that had reach the sort of mass FB has (coupled with a total dominance in its vertical)and ended up loosing to a competitor. Enlighten me.
Youngsters today and the lack of history being taught in schools. History is full of winners, who after a period of time became losers (or at least not the same level of winning).
Yes. Your neighbor's mama was never on Myspace, ICQ, AIM, YIM, MSN, and chances are she is not on Gmail video chatting.
If that's underachieving, sign me up.
You are correct, though. I, along with most people who use facebook, haven't had to do any deeper platform/api integration.
- Repeated posts in the news feed. The first ~10 posts or so in the news feed are repeated as you scroll down.
- In the news feed, if I see and play a video, it plays. Great. If I continue going down the feed and then click on a photo, it goes into the "theater" mode, and for some obscure reason, it plays the video again (except I cannot see it; I can only hear it). The only way to stop it is to exit theater mode. This keeps happening over and over again every time I enter theater mode. I am then forced to refresh the entire page if I want to see some pictures without distracting noise in the background.
These are just a couple examples; there are many more. After talking to some friends, it seems I'm not the only one experiencing them. Now, nobody's perfect. It's OK if these bugs got into production for a few days or even weeks before getting fixed. But it's been months now... For a company full of brilliant engineers, that is unacceptable.
(Now the Facebook iPhone app is really buggy, I will give you that.)
Feeling some pressure from google + ?
Used to being a second class citizen but most sites of recent years have a recognizer at the very least!
I restarted Facebook using Chromium and stared a Video Call. It works like charm.
The social-graph is a reduced set of the internet. It is probably easier to search, but how will the results be better than Google?
With Google's velocity, I think they're probably going to get to "social search" first (good luck to Blekko, but reliance on FB is not going to scale - especially when FB looks to monetize - social search is their meal ticket).
You have control of your own social graph, you don't have control over who puts a page up for Google to crawl. You're using the authority someone has as part of your network to filter what comes in to the network - search only on sites that friends-of-friends have recommended and you're unlikely to get spam or sites that are hard to navigate or that won't provide a good service. If I'm looking for new outdoor equipment I could look at the online stores that fellow scouts have used and recommended and so save time weeding out the better stores.
Just my immediate reaction to your question. There are clearly benefits in both types of search. Also this presupposes that FB aren't trying to inject advertised offerings in to your social-graph based search; probably a bad assumption as that there looks like gold to me.
Doesn't not having a search engine trump having a big social graph when it comes to search? Building search engines is not trivially easy. It took Microsoft 10 years to get it right.
If I search for "digital camera", it might help a bit but if I were looking for the opinions of my photographer friends, I'd just ask them.
If I search for "us air strikes in libya" it might help but I would expect an algorithm to be able to find me some decent news articles without too much help from my friends. Besides, I don't want to live in my friends' 'filter bubble'.
If I search for "AT91SAM9G20 datasheet", I doubt anyone in my immediate social graph has even seen what I'm looking for, let alone +1'd it.
That's true, but then how many competing documents are going to pop up? The social graph helps give precedence when their are many results.
The Libya example is interesting. If you want outside of your bubble there is no reason you couldn't reverse the order and try to see news that none of your friends have seen (or at least +1ed).
I think I will never use it because I almost dont use video chat (Hangout can change that) but I see my mother using it to talk with her sisters. She currently uses Skype, but using only Facebook will be much easier for her.
If you asked me a year ago if I would say which was the cooler, younger, more innovative and most promising company - Google or Facebook - I would have said 4:0 Facebook for sure.
Now, I would say:
Cooler? I have a passion for design - so Google+ is by far winner here. In addition, you can say what you want, but with the invitation restriction they got what they wanted - buzzed.
Younger? When you compare the new design from Google to the Facebook design and consider the implementation of cutting edge web technology (advanced html5 etc.) - for sure it's google!
More innovative? Of course Facebook has a point for focusing the development of a framework in which other companies can build on - but on the other hand, that's by definition not much innovation by themselves - so google+!
Most promising? Only time can tell..
I don't know exactly why I see Google in a whole new light now.
Maybe it's because of their stunning design and UX (sorry for repeating, but it's gorgeous), maybe it's because of their underdog position with Google+ or maybe it's because Facebook with it's dry and subtle and boring design and it's cooperations with "uncool" players like microsoft is not taking risks anymore. They cannot risk their large userbase and got to stay mainstream. That could be the chance for Google+ to conquer, at least, the younger crowd.
We're working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.
Yesterday, though, he had 35000 followers. That growth rate clearly can't continue; at that rate, + would overtake FB in another month or two, and the entire world population 5 days later.
I also said Microsoft Skype to distinguish it from FB- didn't know that FB and MS have been collaborating. But on second thought, it really is going to be Microsoft Skype from here on out. Or rather, 2012 Microsoft Skype Home Edition 7 with .NET Windows Live integration.
"Although I was the only full-time engineer on the video calling project, I had help from Paul Shen, Rahul Iyer, and Vijaye Raji."
Doesn't look like they do group videochat?
Group chat is really, really important. But it's what we've always used Facebook for; it was just structured as "comment threads".
The very first feature they show. Is the one that Skype implemented which a lot of people hated. Personally I think it's a great great feature. But it is a feature.
MS acquires fb?
Skype makes a killing off fb users for premium subscription and gives fb a cut?