Can it be said that Facebook is evolving into something Amazon-esque, an online site we can’t avoid but are, slowly but surely, having more and more reason to dislike?
(1) Facebook IPO Fallout Continues
There is the botching of Facebook’s IPO, which has led to lawsuits against it and the Nasdaq stock exchange. Formerly considered “friendly to start-ups,” the Nasdaq is now seeking to smooth things over with Facebook, which is reportedly considering switching to the New York Stock Exchange. Facebook is blaming the mess of its May 18th IPO on the Nasdaq, which suffered technological problems that delayed a flood of order confirmations. It is also expressing extreme unhappiness about statements made by Nasdaqís chief executive, Robert Greifeld, to reporters that the Nasdaq’s errors had not affected the stock’s performance.
(2) The Week You Discovered You Had An @facebook.com Email Address
Then there was last week’s @facebook.com email incident, in which Facebook summarily changed every user’s public profile email in one fell swoop. The feeling that Facebook was infiltrating itself into users’ data has only been heightened when many people found that their contacts’ email addresses had been changed too, to the @facebook.com ones. These must be accessed through Facebook’s site, with many ending up in a not too visible “other” inbox under Facebook messages.
Facebook is blaming a bug for overwriting emails in users’ address books. But as†Violet Blue writes on CNET, “making your company’s e-mail address (running off your mail server) each user’s primary and seeding it to everyone’s contacts with it via sync-enabled apps is another thing entirely” — is something more than just a”glitch.”
This unasked-for contact synchronization cannot be rolled back. Those with Apple’s new iOS 6 most likely suffered unwanted contact synchronization as Facebook is “integrated” into the new operating system; Facebook can simply “change address books without any warning.”
(3) Facebook Appears To Be Seeking Cosmic Communication Domination
In a broader context, the whole incident could just be a preview of what’s to come. It’s no secret that Facebook is trying to integrate (infiltrate) itself into users’ lives as much as it can. Facebook being technically “free,” users may be outraged, but Facebook has its “terms of service.” Facebook has certainly wound itself into people’s everyday habits and, despite deep annoyance, users keep using it.
It may only get harder not get in touch (“access”) family, friends and others as Facebook continues with its plans to integrate chat, messages and email to win the “message war” — the communications war — against Apple and Google. TechCrunch‘s Josh Constine writes that Facebook took a gamble in changing all users’ email addresses to @facebook.com ones to “box out Google and Apple.” Facebook’s intention is for chats, messages and email (@facebook.com ones, that is) to all “flow” into one (Facebook) inbox so that “if someone sent you a Chat and you were offline or immediately left your desktop, you could view it in your Messages inbox from mobile.”
Reviewing Facebook’s, Apple’s and Google’s social media, email and texting services, Constine predicts that Facebook will win the war (in part by annexing Apple’s iMessage, a texting alternative for Apple devices). Possibly within a year, or a matter of months, it could be “all Facebook all the time” for many of us, like it or not.
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