E-mail, text messages, instant messages -- Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to be the last mile between all the redundant systems and users' simple desire to see all their messages in one place.
By Chadwick Matlin, contributor
Mark Zuckerberg was just turning 13 when AOL Instant Messenger was released in 1997. Instant messaging was nothing new—AOL had allowed its users to chat with other subscribers since 1993, and ICQ had allowed anyone to talk to anyone since '96. AIM didn't so much break ground as it did break down walls. It was one of the first major signs that on the Internet, social networks can only succeed if they open up, and that for a new generation of web users, chat was just as crucial as email.
It's thirteen years later, and now the IM generation is in charge. On Monday Facebook showed what that means for the rest of us. Days in advance of Facebook's Monday press conference, the tech blogosphere was its usual babbling self, speculating on what a Facebook email system would look like, how it would beat Gmail at its own game, etc. Instead, Facebook sidestepped email entirely. It's overhauling its messaging system to make it more, well, message-centric. It's creating an AIM for a new decade.
One company's trash is another company's treasure. Just weeks after eBay (EBAY) essentially admitted it overpaid for its $3.1 billion acquisition of Skype, another major company has found a better use for the Internet telephone service.
MySpace (NWS) will announce on Wednesday that it will lets its members call each other for free by adding Skype to online chat. MySpace and Skype will share revenue for paid services like calling to MOREMichal Lev-Ram, writer - Oct 16, 2007 11:16 PM ET
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