Facebook announced their “not e-mail” answer to e-mail Monday. It is the next leg in the race to redefine daily communication.
Google Wave began the big push in 2009 with real-time organized communication. Twitter followed with an updated direct message system that offers similar functionality and layout to Wave without the real time.
Facebook is expanding the narrative concept to include traditional e-mail. This was one of the too-little, too-late missteps of Google Wave. Facebook is also offering a Facebook e-mail address to every user who would like one. They are not abandoning the short message system (SMS). In fact, it will remain as the core of its messaging system because the younger generation seems to prefer it.
The system is also designed to guard against SPAM by only allowing communication between Facebook friends.
It’s both convenient and practical to keep in one place all communication (in one long narrative) from each member of our community.
The narrative solution doesn’t answer all communication needs. Google Wave created a method of communicating with many people in a group. The new platforms don’t seem to have an answer. E-mail is still superior with its ability to carbon copy (CC) and quickly respond to all without limitations. The ability to e-mail anyone without their permission is still the biggest drawback of e-mail.
While Facebook is trying to keep everyone in touch, Path is working to make social media communication more exclusive. On Monday, Path was launched for the iPhone. This new platform only allows 50 people in each member’s network.
Path is the next step toward the niche communities we have been predicting for a while. This is a reaction and rebellion to Facebook’s 5,000 friend limit and unlimited followers on Twitter and other communities.
Our future will include multiple niche communities representing various groups related to our interests and profession. The only thing we can count on is change. Communication will become more streamlined and integrated into our everyday lives with options for the mass macro, intimate micro forms, and niche communication platforms that fit our style.