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According to Steven

My view on technology

Category Archives: Social Media

Surfing the web, I’ve met this one today. I’ve thaught it was quite funny ^^

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A couple of days ago, I wrote something about facebook trying to be like twitter. Today, it’s Googles turn. The company will try to catch up Facebook and Twitter (which the NYT keeps on calling a Social Networking Company, hélas) by adding some new ‘social features’ to gmail. Next to an easy-to-use chat and videochatfunction, which are already implemented, it will add add-ons that allow users to share pictures and words about what ‘they are doing right now’.

But I really doubt wether it will be succesfull. On one hand, it is made by google and implemented in one of its most popular services, but on the other hand, things like Orkut, Google Chrome and Google Wave aren’t as popular as Google hoped they would be when they came up with it. Next to that, most people who just use their computer for word processing, chatting, mailing and social networking, haven’t any knowledge about Google Maps or Google Docs (or even Google Wave).

But, this is something different. It’s an extra option in an existing and popular website, and not a totally new website with a new service.  I wonder wether Facebook and Twitter will have some serious competition or not…

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Yesterday I read an article about (American, but whatever) teens. According to the article, teens don’t like blogging anymore, they prefer microblogging.

‘De Morgen’, a Belgian newspaper, states that teenagers prefer microblogging, using Facebook, to real blogging. I feel called to react. Facebook has never been, is not , and will never be a microblogging tool. It’s just a social network tool, designed to stay in touch with friends. And okay, it’s good in doing that. But if one is serious about microblogging, he starts tweeting. Why? Because Twitter is a microblog network. Or Identi.ca, so you want. But not Facebook.

I admit, Facebook does a hard job trying to be one. They gave there statusupdates a lot of features – most cheated from Twitter or Identi – have written a decent API, and even a mobile app. They managed to get blog integration, and gave us more space to type in then 140 characters. Everytime it takes a new lay-out (which happens quite often – too often according to me) it’s a new step in the direction of giving the status updates a more important position into the facebook-world.  But it isn’t a microblogplatform, because it’s too plump to be one. A microblogplatform doesn’t need Farmville, hugs, maffia games and so on. A microblogplatform doesn’t need a profile page with tons of pictures on it. A microblogplatform just needs to be accessible and fast, it has to be fluently, and easy to make new friends, to get in touch with new people. And facebook – let’s be honest – isn’t.

But yes, I also use facebook. I use it to keep in touch with friends I haven’t seen for a long time, or to discuss things with classmates or friends who I meet daily. But I don’t use it as a tool to do some microblogging. Why? Because microblogging is more than just ‘updating a status’. And hell no, Facebook will not ever manage to give it a new definition, suiting their purpose.

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