Facebook is making the news again – after the Instagram acquisition for $1b, they now bought WhatsApp for $19b. Whaaaaaaaaat?
Quite honestly, I don’t understand the craze about all the messaging apps AT ALL. Viber, WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, Facebook Messenger… I don’t need any of them. I have a smartphone, a data plan, and an email app. Anyone who wants to reach me can send me an email. As long as I have a network connection, I get a little notification, and will react within short time*. And if you need a response right away – just call me!
The weirdest thing for me is the dominance of Facebook’s totally crappy messaging, and people’s preference for it. I seem to be one of the rare, dying species who is NOT logged on to Facebook 24/7, who does not have the Facebook app or the FB Messenger app on the phone – in other words, sending me messages on Facebook is the WORST possible way to reach me and keep me in the loop. The sheer assumption that everyone would be logged in to Facebook and get a message sent inside that closed system immediately is a tell-tale sign that people don’t understand that system and the technology they have at hand AT ALL.
For heavens sake, send me an email, or call me, but leave me alone with your Facebook or whatever messaging. No one needs it. If you have internet access (needed for messaging!), you have email access.
The only reason to NOT use email would be security/privacy/encryption – while transport layer encryption is pretty much standard today (anyone still using port 25 and 110/143? Seriously?!). It’s not easy to have good encryption and privacy with today’s shitty, but unfortunately dominant webmail interfaces and smartphone apps. But then again… if it’s on your phone and/or the internet, it’s just not secure or private, anymore. AT ALL. Thank the NSA for that, and thank Edward Snowden for making us aware of it.
*) it requires a bit of work to set up server-side filters so that notifications from Flickr, Github and whatnot, just like newsletters and spam and coupons and who knows whats flooding our inboxes does NOT trigger a notification. Doesn’t take much though. If your email provider and/or app doesn’t have that, you’re using the wrong service/app.