Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Facebook Needs To Revamp Email Next

NicoImage by Ian Muttoo via Flickr
Mark Zuckerberg: The Facebook Blog: Giving You More Control
Facebook's revamping the Groups feature is pretty fundamental. This has been a demand a long time. People have been saying that Facebook thinks people have only one social graph, the truth is people have many social graphs. I have not used the feature yet, just read about it, but looks like Facebook now lets you have your many social graphs.

And the download feature is Facebook nuking Diaspora. This is a preemptive strike and a pretty big one too. On the other hand now suddenly there is room for some smart aleck startup to do something pretty phenomenal. This is Diaspora's death sentence or its godsend. Is the glass empty or full? I don't know. Let Diaspora decide.

What got my attention though is what is missing. Facebook has not yet revamped its email program. It needs to. 2010 is the year of The Dreaded Inbox. The original app of the computing experience has become a monster. And I think Facebook is uniquely positioned to tackle this huge problem.

How about giving every Facebook user a Facebook email address? So I might get And give each user three inboxes. Inbox 1 is for people who are in my social graph. Inbox 2 is for people who are not necessarily in my social graph, but they are on Facebook and they are sending the email while they are logged into Facebook. Inbox 3 is for people who are neither here nor there, as in they are maybe sending you email from their Gmail account, maybe.

That simple, doable step would solve a lot of inbox problems for a lot of people.

Email has to be a scalable experience. Right now it has stopped being an experience for most people. And so people go hide. They hide on Twitter, and Quora, and, yes, Facebook.

Inbox 2 perhaps should have bells and whistles. You can email someone not in your social graph, but when you do, you are giving them permission to take a look at your full profile for perhaps one day of opening the email.

This is akin to the priority inbox concept. All emails are not the same. All human beings are equal, but that does not apply to emails.

I think the best part of the new Groups feature for Facebook might be that people now have the option to create robust Facebook work groups, and Facebook can now go Facebook Enterprise. Do you smell money?

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