Report: Facebook to Launch "Gmail Slayer" November 15
November 12, 2010 11:18 AM
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Sources say Facebook's Project Titan may be preparing for a clash with Google's own email giant, Gmail.
(Source: Warner Brothers)
The company sent out special invites on Friday to a Monday event.
(Source: Facebook via TechCrunch)
Facebook rumored to have been secretly been developing the service since the start of the year
The web email market is pretty packed these days. Exact estimates of market share are problematic, as they're typically gathered by client image loads, hence minimizing the market share of clients like Google's Gmail. Currently, though, most experts agree that
, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, and Apple Mail are the big four of the e-mail world (AOL Mail still has a pretty loyal following as well).
announced on Friday
that it was holding a special event on Monday, November 15, 2010 at St. Regis Yerba Buena Terrace in San Francisco. The invite has a number of hints that the event might be something email-related, with comment bubbles and a mail-stationary like background.
Reportedly the social networking giant will be announcing a full-fledged, stand-alone email client, similar to Gmail, complete with @facebook.com addresses. The full-fledged client The client has been in development since at least February of this year, under the code-name Project Titan.
If that proves true the code-name would seem appropriate as the ensuing competition would indeed be a clash of the titans as the internet's two
-- Facebook and Google -- wage war.
So will Facebook release the Kraken (e.g. the "Gmail Killer" that employees have been bragging about)? We'll have to wait until next Monday to hear for sure.
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RE: Trust my e-mails to Facebook...?
11/13/2010 4:11:30 PM
The evil image is well-deserved. At its heart, the "killer app" that makes Facebook is a universal login. If I make a website which I only want friends to see, I have to require them to make an account and password. If one of them makes a website they only want friends to see, we all have to make another account and password. And so on for every single of of my friends. That's a lot of accounts and passwords to set up. Facebook lets you get around that problem with a single account and login.
preventing any other company from doing this. Previous attempts at it failed because of user disinterest - there was no carrot dangling in front of people to get them to use it. Only website makers wished for such a thing. Facebook managed to build up critical mass by offering a variety of useful services on top of that universal login (photo sharing, mini-blogging, etc). They did that right.
But now that they've grown, they haven't opened up the universal login so other sites can use it (e.g. you try to access my website, I verify your identify with Facebook, and if Facebook says you're really my friend like you say you are, then I let you see my website). Instead they guard it jealously to prevent competition and dilution of their market. Google got into a spat with them recently because Google is freely allowing GMail contact info to be imported into Facebook, but Facebook isn't reciprocating and allowing their contact info to be imported into GMail.
Facebook is putting putting its own interests ahead of the interests of its customers. That's what makes it evil.
Long ago there were two competing technologies for social networking. One was the CompuServe/AOL model, where you paid a monthly fee to join a walled garden owned entirely by one company. Users interacted with each other, but completely within the confines of that walled garden, and only via ways approved of by the company.
The other was the Internet. It was technically harder to set up and join, but it was free and best of all it let you do
anything you wanted
. You weren't limited by what some nameless face at a company decided was the way things should be. If you wanted to make your own website, you could. If you wanted to build an eCommerce site, you could. If you wanted to build an app for sharing music, you could.
The Internet's free-market approach to things - letting you do whatever you want and allowing the best ideas to rise to the top - handily trounced the walled gardens. CompuServe went belly-up long ago, and AOL is a mere shadow of its former self, still alive only because they got bought by Time-Warner (which took a huge loss on it).
Facebook's current way of operating is a step backwards, back to the walled gardens we excised nearly two decades ago. And like CompuServe, AOL, and Communism it will eventually fail because technology advances faster when you encourage people to try new and different things, not when you restrict their freedom and only allow them to do things you've approved of. The only question is how long it will take them to fall (or change), and how much time we'll waste in the process.
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