Facebook seems to be new cool Social Networking toy of choice.
It is a cool app, it has to be said, with the ability to easily create networks and groups of like-minded individuals.
More than that, it has an api which allows 3rd parties to create apps which hook into it easily. Tripadvisor have developed a “Cities I have visited” app which simply allows you to add in the names of places you have visited and it plots them on a map! Sounds simple but it is curiously addictive and similarly for the iRead app (books you have read and can review), iLike for music, Twitter and there’s even a Marketplace (for items for sale, rent, Jobs, etc.).
The social networking aspect is like LinkedIn‘s butÂ with the advantage that you get to see a photo of the person you are linking to if they have uploaded one. This is always handy if you are browsing one of your contact’s list of friends and you recognise a face but wouldn’t have remembered the name!
Also handy is the ‘river of news‘ information flow from your friends as they update their profiles, their apps, or their Friends list.
There are one or two things which could be improved in Facebook –
1. As Jon Udell pointed out this morning, it always annoys me that when adding a new Friend, there is no ‘Met Online’ option . Consequently I find myself clicking the Skip this Step button and
2. The email from Facebook is painfully slow. If I check the Requests page, I often see requests to connect from people I know who I haven’t added as friends yet. I add them and two to three days later, I receive an email telling me that that friend wants to connect and I should check the Requests page!
Facebook is rapidly becoming the Social Networking tool of choice for professionals – rapidly catching up on (if it hasn’t already overtaken) LinkedIn and Xing. It has a far richer user experience than either LinkedIn or Xing and it has the advantage of being free whereas full functionality in LinkedIn or Xing requires payment.