Politics and Grassroots

Project Titan: A new generation of Facebook messaging. And probably SPAM.

Facebook announced “Project Titan” this week.  With a code name like that, one might have wished for the press conference to open with Mark Zuckerberg bellowing, “Welcome to the world of tomorrow!”

Unfortunately, there was no such bellow.

There was, however, an unveiling of a drastically revamped Facebook messaging service.   The new interface is supposed to allow users to integrate Facebook’s internal traditional messaging and chat features, but what really sticks out is the entry of Facebook email address into the equation.

This is the biggest opening of Facebook’s walled garden yet.  And aside from the obvious possibility of an email client (like Microsoft’s Outlook) operating as your Facebook inbox, there’s the possibility that a person – or, more likely, a campaign or company – can send you a Facebook message as easily as they send an email.  It could open the door for mass-messaging through the Facebook environment – even though Facebook is taking steps to keep that from happening.

For all their efforts, though, the fact is that there are plenty of campaigns and companies who want to seize upon Facebook data just to have another avenue of communication – and a good Facebook app can expose this data pretty easily, with the user’s tacit permission.  Most likely, Project Titan is not the final iteration of Facebook’s messaging platform.

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