By Harry McCracken | Monday, November 15, 2010 at 1:00 pm
I spent this morning at Facebook’s press event. As expected, it involved the transformation of Facebook’s Messages feature into full-blown e-mail–except that Mark Zuckerberg kept saying that the new service isn’t e-mail. Depending on how you look at things, either he’s right or it’s both e-mail and a whole lot more.
I shared some initial details and impressions over at Techland; now I’m sitting back and wondering when I’ll get to try the new service. (Facebook said that it’ll roll out to users over the course of the next few months, but that those of us who were at the event should get it soon; I tried e-mailing myself at [email protected], but it got bounced back.)
(Update: My friend Rafe Needleman has a spare invite and says he’ll send it to me. Bless you, Rafe.)
As I tweeted the proceedings, I was somewhat surprised at the (mostly) negative feedback I got from people who were following along at home. Here’s one representative example:
@harrymccracken Sorry, Harry. Bored. Gmail does it all already.
— Shaya L. (@pickleshy) November 15, 2010
I wasn’t trying to egg on the doubters–okay, I admit that I did mention Google Wave in one tweet–and I have an open mind about the whole thing. But one of the things I like about Facebook Messages in their old form was the utter simplicity–no spam, no messages I’d rather not deal with, no Gmail-style feature overload. I concede that I’m not one of the teenagers who Zuck said inspired these changes, but I hope that new Facebook Messages retains the no-nonsense personality of old Facebook Messages. Like Zuck, I don’t want Facebook Messages to turn into e-mail–but I also don’t want it to stop being Facebook Messages…