That Big a Deal?
Facebook opened up it’s user activity streams to the public API today. “This is a big deal.” says TechCrunch, referencing an earlier article on the wider implications for micromessaging, likening it to AOL offering email to the masses.
But is it?
The chief upshot of this will be a mass of desktop and mobile activity updaters. I don’t yet have a Twitter desktop app, due to the fact I don’t want to read tweets in realtime. I like to browse a snapshot of the days events in my own time and not as a distraction. Ok so occasionally tweets and work do synergise to produce a new idea or extra insight to an old one, but the fact is the motley collection of fellow users I follow will always mean a high signal to noise ratio in terms of whatever it is I’m working on *right now*. Hence no realtime feed, no constant blast of interestingness.
Neither do I have an activity stream app on my mobile. And I won’t while the internets are still charged by the megabit.
So no, I really don’t think this is that big a deal. If anything I think it’ll create a backlash, certainly in the mainstream, that up to now appeared warmly receptive to the usefulness of a service such as Twitter in terms of a primary news source. Yes for 90% of people that meant following Stephen Fry, but it was adoption nonetheless.
Instead people will now be bombarded with a hail of disparate apps all doing pretty much the same thing with a slightly different flavour. I think the time has come to split, not aggregate, all these feeds. I had given some thought to submit such an idea for content creators to a recent competition for funding. But I’ll let the crazies crack on for now