Facebook e-mail is the missing piece of the puzzle

If the predictions of Facebook e-mail are true, Facebook will pose a real challenge to Google's business platform aspirations

Facebook has an invitation-only media event planned for Monday, and most of the media and tech blogosphere are speculating that the social network plans to unveil its own Web-based e-mail service. If those predictions are accurate, Facebook e-mail will provide a critical missing element for Facebook as a business marketing and communications platform.

Yes, I know it's a social network and many businesses are still struggling with understanding what the point is. For most businesses, the debate is still between trying to grasp the value of establishing a Facebook presence as a marketing tool, and whether or not to simply ban access entirely to prevent users from wasting their time and exposing the company to unnecessary security risks.

Consider for a minute, what Facebook has to offer, though. It already has messaging capabilities that can be used to communicate with other individuals or groups of individuals within Facebook. You can share links, photos, and video clips as well. It also has an instant messaging chat component, and the recently launched partnership with Skype opens up VoIP (voice over IP) voice calling, and group chat possibilities.

Facebook, through its alliance with Microsoft, also provides a Web-based office productivity suite. Docs.com, or Docs for Facebook, delivers Web-based versions of the popular Microsoft Office productivity apps such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

As a marketing tool, Facebook provides a platform with over half a billion users -- and it is the online destination where users spend the majority of their time. The social nature of Facebook lends itself well to word-of-mouth advertising as Facebook users post status updates regarding movies, books, restaurants, products, or services they like. Of course, that works in reverse too -- quickly disseminating bad reviews and complaints as well.

With Facebook Places, and the newly launched Facebook Deals, Facebook now provides even more benefits for brick and mortar retail establishments. Businesses can use Facebook Deals to provide incentive for customers to check-in on Facebook Places, and as those users check-in it feeds the word-of-mouth marketing advantages of the social network.

Best of all -- it's all free. Facebook may be built for and targeted at individual users, but it is also a valuable platform for business marketing and communications, except for one thing: e-mail. Adding e-mail to the mix would provide the final piece of the puzzle and make Facebook not just the biggest social network, but a comprehensive, and formidable business tool.

Google -- which is vigorously trying to break out of its own mold and establish a presence as a business communications and productivity platform as well -- should be on notice. While Google tries to challenge Microsoft head to head in the messaging and office productivity fronts, and struggles to get into the social networking game, Facebook is outflanking it.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags GoogleFacebooksocial networkssoftwareemailapplicationse-mailinstant messagingInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?