I got excited when I saw a snippet in my RSS reader that said Facebook IM client coming soon!.
When I dug into it, I quickly found that they were talking about FriendVox which is literally an IM. Who knows if these screenshots are accurate:
As soon as I saw this I said …. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. The point isn’t to do yet another IM client. The point to Face IM is to do much more. I don’t need another application that lists the name of various friends giving me no useful information. The point is to have a client that gives me more about my social graph, and if done well, I wouldn’t even have a browser open to Facebook that I have to reload to see if anything is new.
It appears that Facebook really does remember you, and doesn’t kick you out if you log-on from another computer, which was a source of frustration!
It is nice to see some of the items from my list get knocked out.
I keep waiting for Facebook, or someone else, to announce “Face IM”, an IM client that uses the social graph that I have already setup in Facebook to manage my IM life.
Another IM system???? Well, they wouldn’t have to run their own service, but could play the meta-role a la Adium/Trillian and use the IM names that the users have already put in. This would all be hidden from the users though, they would just start chatting to their friends. At some point it may make sense to setup Jabber so users without IM settings can play too.
Just as Gmail changed the way I use my email system (now I am not anal about filters and directories….) Face IM could do something different with IM.
I currently have IM taking up part of my screen, on one of my virtual desktops. All that is shown there is a list of people. Who cares? Instead of showing that list, what if the application looked like Joe’s iPhone application?
A nice clean interface to my event stream as well as my friends. I would probably use that over a tab in my browser. I would give up the view of a bunch of friends names, and instead have rich information as well as the spring board to IM.
Of course, just like Gmail, you could tie in the IM system to the Facebook Mail system too, and they could even get all Meebo-y if they wanted.
I am more interested in taking the social graph outside of Facebook.com. The platform is about more than the walled garden, and showing this via Face IM would be great.