In a move to overlap the worlds of Facebook messages and traditional SMS text messages, Facebook launched Facebook Messenger on Tuesday, a stand-alone app for iPhone and Android, making it simpler than ever to communicate quickly with friends. In February, Facebook acquired Beluga, a group messaging service, in a move to stake a claim on its talent, as well as its technology. This was a first, considering that previously, Facebook has only made acquisitions that zeroed in on talent. While Beluga had a decent number of devoted users, the integration with Facebook now means that the technology will likely catch on in the cloud. Facebook messenger automatically logs conversations via your Facebook account, making them available on a desktop as well. Furthermore, users can easily incorporate links, photos, and location data into messages, and also have the option to turn on push notifications for messages. 9to5Mac has also unearthed a line of code which would allow for future video conferencing capabilities, and would likely add a new dimension to Facebook’s current Skype video conferencing feature.
Is iMessage Doomed?
As noted in an article on Tech Crunch, the app could pose some significant competition for Apple’s as yet unreleased iMessage, which will be incorporated in iOS 5. While iMessage seems as though it will be Apple’s answer to Blackberry Messenger, an obvious pitfall to the service is that it will only connect iPhone users to other iPhone users. Will iMessage simply fail to catch on in the wake of Facebook Messenger’s popularity?
While any time Facebook alters any of its features, users at first seem to gripe, but ultimately they adapt. With 750 million users, it seems that when Facebook makes a change, it’s inevitable that the world will follow in due course. Is there any limit to Facebook’s ability to mold the trajectory of our interactions?