Facebook loves to launch new applications, test them, get feedback, and iterate quickly. But I think the company’s latest group texting app needs improvement.
Don’t get me wrong; the strategic opportunity for Facebook to power all of your personal messages is endless. It’s the same reason Google wants to track your personal communication through the company’s Huddle group texting application.
This is probably why virtually every other publication I’ve read gave the product rave reviews. It makes no sense however that Facebook would start off with an application that sends incoherent messages to your close contacts.
Check out the screenshot below showing a conversation that came out of testing the application.
I decided to send a message to three close contacts, none of which were identifiable to the other individuals. Instead, variously formatted phone numbers were sent to them along with an awkwardly formatted message.
The result was that one person replied hours later after finally realizing that I had actually sent them a message. Alright, formatting text messages properly is something that all group texting companies wrestle with so I’ll forgive Facebook for their horrendous first attempt.
At least things work smoothly in the app, right? Nope. Take a look at the next screenshot.
I sent out a message to a bunch of people, one of which is listed at the top of the app. Then I get a message back from one person but I don’t know who it is because it’s just their phone number.
If there’s one thing that’s key to effective communication, it’s knowing who you are communicating with, something that this application is so far incapable of accomplishing.
It seems to me that Facebook decided to rush out an application with fewer capabilities than those found in Beluga, the acquired company that’s supposed to be powering the group texting.
I’m sure things will evolve for the better over the coming weeks and months. But in the meantime, you might want to hold off on making this the center of your personal messaging.
Readers, what do you think about Facebook Messenger?