Chatter, chatter, chatter

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Facebook has introduced live chatting with your friends when you’re online and so are they. (See Facebook’s blog post about it here).

Some preliminary observations – I was glad to see that they allow for the ability to go “offline.” (Can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to avoid my friends!) I tested it out as well (I was intrigued) and out of the 10 or so lines of text I sent, about half didn’t go through (apparently there’s still some bugs to be worked out!). One thing I would comment that I don’t like, is that I can’t pick and choose who I have on my chat list. Why does Facebook automatically assume that since I’m Facebook friends with someone, I also want to talk to them?? Seems odd to me….

The idea of chat is nothing new, but I feel slightly annoyed by Facebook adding this feature. I already have Skype, msn Messenger, AIM, and gchat, not to mention my cell phone, my land line, my four e-mail accounts. I think people can reach me if they want to. (but what if I don’t want them to??)

Also interesting to note, seems Facebook has learned from the past. Right in the blog post announcing the chat feature is a paragraph on privacy. Facebook seems to understand that this issue is important to its users, and bringing in new features without consideration of privacy will create a bad-for-business backlash. (Who can forget the “newsfeed” debacle)

The web has definitely made a difference in how we communicate, and how much we communicate. But like we said in class, what about the quality of how we communicate?

I was talking to some of my friends (the live ones, not the Facebook ones) today about this new feature. A comment from one of them – “Facebook is about to implode because of its overwhelming usefulness”

1 Comment

  1. skass

    April 6, 2008 @ 10:39 pm

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    The opt-out feature was my favorite as well, but I noticed something interesting about that feature. Unsurprisingly, the default setting put users in Facebook Chat, with the opportunity to opt out. The part I found really interesting was that Facebook Chat was not integrated in any way with the pre-existing online presence feature. Whenever it was that you set your Facebook privacy settings, you may remember there being an option to allow your friends to see when you are signed on to Facebook. One would think that people who chose not to reveal that information to their friends would certainly not want to be visible on Facebook Chat, which effectively informs others of the exact information they sought to keep private. Facebook either did not recognize the inconsistency or strategically chose to ignore it.