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Facebook Messages…underwhelming so far

For all the hype Facebook Messages got last week, I’ve got to say I’m pretty underwhelmed after a day with the new service.

Yeah, I can make Facebook send you a text (if you’ve opted into the service) and yeah, I can give out my Facebook alias as a an email ( But is this really going to stop me from using the email account I’ve had for the last nine years as some have predicted? I doubt it, although I’m not sure I’m the target audience anyway. Maybe the younger set is less attached to existing online identities and more willing to consolidate their communications.

Despite using Facebook extensively for my professional career, in my personal life I err on the side of under-usage. Sure, I’ll check the main News Feed daily, but I’m often left non-plussed by updates from folks I haven’t seen in person in several years anyway; as for myself, I rarely feel the need to post my own updates. And as for old-school Facebook messages, I haven’t sent them often. The few times I’ve tried to use Facebook chat, I’ve found it to be clunky, whereas existing IM platforms are pretty reliable, offer A/V chats and don’t rely on a browser.

So what’s the value here? Text integration? I really can’t see myself wanting to check the “text message” button to send my FB message as a text. I mean, don’t I already have this person’s phone number? Chat transcripts? Not sure I want/need those. So where’s the game changer? Maybe I’m missing something…

Props to Facebook for trying to rethink messaging, but for right now, I’m not sure there’s much to talk about. Myopic view? Perhaps. Guess we’ll find out.

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Facebook Messages: E-mail marketing Terminator?

If Facebook’s massive user base adopts Facebook’s new messaging platform en masse and continues to abandon e-mail, marketers will have to adjust. If only it were that easy.

Facebook is constantly in flux, and the platform is evolving so fast that what was true even 2-3 months ago may not be true tomorrow. And with every change that FB makes, the implications seem to be more wide-ranging that the last time. But if email is going to go the way of dinosaurs and telephone calls (remember those?), e-marketing is about to undergo a seismic shift, especially if the only people you can contact are those who are your “friends” or say that they “Like” you.

While that’s seemingly good news for end-users who’ll hypothetically no longer be inundated with herbal enhancement junk-mail offers, it presents plenty of challenges for marketers who still have yet to master traditional e-mail.

Then again, some brands already have a much larger Facebook following than their existing email database, and “Likes” grow at a rate that email could never hope to achieve. So perhaps this change is already underway…

If Facebook really does kill the e-mail star, chief among the concerns would be Facebook’s spotty reputation with regard to security issues. Given the platform’s ever-growing functionality, security is just as important (arguably, more important) for the brand as it is for the unwitting end-user. Because while a user who carelessly clicks on a rogue app and gets hacked can likely recover, the potential damage a hacked brand would endure is orders of magnitude higher. Which begs another question, why are fan pages administered by simple Facebook user accounts? Seems like a huge security risk.

If Facebook ever goes Skynet on us and becomes self-aware, we’re really in trouble.

Facebook Messages is just one more thing to keep an eye on, and it seems like every day there’s a new development. The changes are coming fast and furious. It’s our job to keep up. And it’s a full-time job.

Worth a quick read: Facebook Messages: Email Marketing Analysis