It’s All Go At Facebook…
Its been all go with Facebook the last couple of weeks. On the one hand we have them emulating Twitter by allowing @mentions in status updates and now, with a new plug-in from Vivox they may be taking a slice of the Skype pie. Oh and they’ve also launched their own version of Google Labs called ‘Prototypes’.
Friend Status Tagging
Two days ago Facebook launched the @mentions feature (although in keeping with Facebook lingo they call it ‘friend tagging)’. This allows users to invite their friends in to conversations by placing an @ symbol before their friends name in the status bar. Since it’s launch I have only seen one person use this feature (and they work in digital). It’s not setting the world alight. Yet.
Voice Calls To Facebook Contacts
Yesterday, cnet news covered the launch of Facebook voice calls through the app/plug-in by 3rd party developer Vivox. Although developed independently of Facebook, according to Mashable, “it’s likely Facebook will have a hand in its implementation or gave Vivox the thumbs-up for its deep site-wide voice integration.” This will allow users of the social network to enjoy Skype style internet phone calls with their Facebook contacts. This will also include the option for group calls. Will anyone actually use this feature? My guess is not really. Surely it would be far more useful to be able to extend the existing Facebook chat feature to allow collaborative chat (groups). Hopefully Facebook has this in the pipeline.
“For all the products that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to see the light of day, we’re introducing Facebook Prototypes.” This is a list of features/apps that users can choose to use by ‘activating’ and then providing feedback. For example, Facebook Desktop allows users to be notified on their desktop if ‘interesting activity happens on your profile’
To access Prototypes, visit the Application Directory and filter by “Prototypes.” From there, you can activate or download any of the Prototypes listed.
How Facebook has mimicked Twitter in the last few months:
1) Facebook purchased FriendFeed a real time status & sharing site. Facebook have since opened up the Friendfeed API to 3rd party developers. This is the tactic that has helped Twitter grow so well.
2) Facebook launched real time search
3) Facebook Lite launched – Status centric version. Twitter is status centric.
4) Facebook add @mentions. Possibly the biggest Twitter copy of all.