Facebook for Blackberry is Here, but What About BIGGER News?

October 24, 2007 by Lisa Oshima | Enterprise, Mobile, Social Media

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.

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  • Ok … I just downloaded the BB Facebook app to my Pearl. At first blush I wanted to to shout “Yeah”. So what can I do on the kinda client/kinda wap interface:

    1. Set my status … (drum roll) … and I did with ease.

    2. Upload a picture. (could not be bothered)

    3. See a list of all my friend … (ahh a contact list). From here you can do neat (like that word) things like poke a freind. So I did … I waited and waited for a response, a confirmation on the screen … nothing came back. Not up to par with Blackberry email methinks! Same with the other options.

    4. So this is the beast one. I have a Friend and I wanted to look up her profile … I'm re-directed to FB wap site where I have to re authenicate!

    At this point I had seen enough … and enough has been said.

  • so sorry … final comment. It seems that my web mobile mini feeds are not in sync with the web interface … actually they just don't show up … now I have 2 “inboxes” ….'am I missing something here?!

  • Thanks for posting your thoughts, Atif. Another reader just echoed your comments to me via email, saying that she's having the same problems, so I don't think you're missing anything!

  • I just saw this post on AllFacebook.com, the un-official Facebook blog. It looks like blogger Nick O'Neill is having trouble with the app too – “Facebook for Blackberry Crashed My Phone!”

  • I just got a very nice email from Dustin Moskovitz in response to my post on his Keynote address. He pointed out that you actually can edit your status message, but from the home page of m.facebook.com (I was trying to do it from the Profile page, where the status message is not currently editable.) He also mentioned that we should be seeing some very cool 3rd party mobile stuff coming down the pipe thanks to newly-released enhanced mobile extensions. I'm looking forward to it!






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