When Facebook first came available for my college, it was a day to celebrate. Hours were wasted pruning my profile and scouring that of others. Since then (nearly 5 years, which is crazy), Facebook has added various features and capabilities, but never really grew past a way to waste time – until recently.
I don’t remember when, but Facebook now supports comments on my status updates. That means anyone that I’m friends with on Facebook can see, and interact with me there. Like on Jaiku. I’ve been using Ping.FM to update Jaiku, Facebook, and Twitter all at the same time, as somewhat of an experiment. I’ve found that, at least to a small extent, I get a new set of voices, and nearly as much interaction on Facebook as I do on Jaiku. I get nothing on Twitter, which doesn’t really surprise me at all. Whereas the vast majority of my online friends are on (and were made on) Jaiku, more of my real-life friends are on Facebook, and they’re joined there by most of my Jaiku friends.
Next up was Facebook Chat. This is by far the best feature of the service, really. Especially since I use Digsby to login on my PC, without having to have Facebook open. I have the chance to chat with people from all over the place, regardless of what IM client they normally use. There’s no hassle with screennames, buddy lists, or anything else. It’s just so easy, I’ve chatted with my parents, long lost friends, and family members on there.
I’m finding myself spending more and more time on Facebook, as a result. I’m still on Jaiku in a big way, and likely still will be for a long while. It’s a good source of news for me, and there are some stubborn friends on there who just won’t embrace Facebook. Also, compared to Jaiku, Facebook doesn’t have ‘downtime’, nor has it stopped growing. With photos, Facebook easily replaces Flickr or Share on Ovi as an online photo dump, too.
It feels to me like Facebook is somewhat of an underdog, quietly sneaking in and replacing my favorite services with promise of an integrated, never-down option. And I like it. My only complaint about Facebook is that they seem to be content merely offering an m.dot site, rather than mobile clients for the various platforms. Of course, that’s a bit of a biased view, since I only use S60-powered smartphones, but it’s still a factor.