Was I the only one who was underwhelmed with the Facebook and RIM announcement of Facebook for BlackBerry at this morning’s CTIA keynote? Don’t get me wrong, Facebook’s co-founder, Dustin Moskovitz, presented very well, but I was hoping for more.
- Moskovitz didn’t mention Microsoft. Just hours after the keynote, the Wall Street Journal confirmed rumors that Microsoft agreed to invest $240 million for a 1.6% stake in Facebook Inc. That gives Facebook a value of $15 billion. That’s pretty big news to keep quiet at a conference where both companies (Microsoft and Facebook) had such high visibility.
- Moskovitz talked a lot about the importance of creating an “open” platform, but, ironically, the mobile application he announced is “closed” to the majority of mobile users (its only available on Blackberry). I was hoping to see more seamless usability enhancements to Facebook’s mobile web capabilities (i.e. it would be nice to change my status message on Facebook from my mobile web browser.)
- The good news for all Facebook mobile users is that 3rd party apps now appear in mobile profile pages, and, users can interact with 3rd party apps through SMS. Requiring mobile users to launch SMS to interact with their Facebook apps seems a shame, as this inconveniences anyone with a single threaded operating system (i.e. feature phones and any PalmOS phones), presumably requiring them to close down their mobile browser before opening up their SMS client.
- Mike Lazaridis, the co-CEO of RIM didn’t do a live demo. Live demos can be precarious at places like CTIA where so many people are connected to the mobile internet and network performance sluggish. (Microsoft lost their mobile connection yesterday and had to switch phones mid-demo but did it gracefully). But, without a live demo, the audience is left wondering how good an application really is.
I’m not a BlackBerry user, so I can’t test the new app, but I’m curious to know how it performs. If you download the Facebook for Blackberry app and have feedback, please post a comment with your opinion.