As always, the face of social media is changing rapidly. The very fluid nature of social media is what often makes most people considering forays into the medium skeptical. However, the most important thing to remember about any new development that you might hear about when it comes to social media is to wait and see how it shakes out. What may sound great, may not work for a business. What sounds new and fun may work great for you personally, but may not get your message to the right people.
Right now Facebook has announced that they will soon be launching a messaging system that many think will compete with Google’s Gmail. This is interesting because a number of businesses have switched to Gmail even for their business email solutions. Gmail also offers components like Google Talk and Google Calendar. Some other companies have even used Google Docs to move their documents, spreadsheets and presentations online (in the cloud, as it is known) for easier sharing among employees.
The new service is still a bit unclear. It apparently will give users a Facebook.com extension. It also combines elements of instant messaging and texting. However, in a statement about the new service, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said it is not a “Gmail killer.” There will be nothing to replace inboxes like you find on Gmail and where people receive online bills and such.
So, what does this mean for those who use Facebook for their business. Well, it may likely mean nothing to those who use Facebook to simply get their message out and interact with customers and vendors. However, retailers, artists and musicians who use Facebook as some primary source of interaction, it may be important. For example, if you are setting up a Facebook page to sell art, books or music as if it is an online store, having a Facebook.com email address might make sense. However, if you are a travel company and you use Facebook to promote your work, but don’t sell directly from the social media service, it may not be something to consider.
Whenever a social media company has something to announce they do all they can to make it seem shiny and new. Each of us has an innate tendency to want to play with the latest toy and the shiniest thing. However, using social media, for most established company, is still only part of an overall communications strategy. So, jumping on the latest thing may not be the wisest thing.