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 (@facebook.com). 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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