Zuckerberg's "Awesome" Facebook Announcement Proves Underwhelming

By , Columnist
When Mark Zuckerberg promised an “awesome” Facebook product announcement before Wednesday’s unveiling, I was hoping for something that was actually awesome, like an anti-gravity rocket belt, or, after having recently read Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game series, an A.I. Jane that wakes me with “Good morning, Holly, while you were sleeping you received two messages and one voicemail. Also, it is your mother’s birthday tomorrow and I have arranged flowers.”

Facebook’s announcement proved a bit more underwhelming with the unveiling of its three new products: a group chat service, a new design for chat, and a video chat service in collaboration with Skype, which Microsoft recently purchased for $8.5 billion

On what Zuckerberg called “the first day of launching season 2011,” Facebook touted the benefits of its Skype plug-in which allows users to video chat by simply clicking on the profile of a friend who can connect with a single permission request without pre-installing Skype software, a current drawback of the service. This announcement came soon after Google launched its own social network, Google+, with the video chat Hangout feature built in, something which validates Facebook’s view that social is the wave of the future, said Zuckerberg.

As reporters and attendees anxiously awaited product demonstrations, Zuckerberg chattered on about the direction of social networking and the Internet in general now that social infrastructures have been built and most of the world has been wired, also noting that Facebook recently reached 750 million users.

“The idea of connecting people has been around for awhile… the driving narrative is going to be about what kind of new social apps you can build now that you have this wiring in place; this social infrastructure.... The next five years," Zuckerberg said, "is no longer going to be about simply creating a place for people to get connected. It’s going to be about all the things you can do once people are connected."

While the potential for the social apps of the future is an exciting concept, hopefully the next “awesome” announcement will actually offer something new and useful, like teleportation apps,  not just another announcement letting everyone know Facebook is also in the running for creating updates to the Internet circa 2006.

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Holly is a freelance writer and copy editor with a background in journalism and publishing. Like a grandmother's purse, she is about three decades old, worn around the edges and mostly full of crap.

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