It is much more than a simple social network. True reference in the segment of communication tools, Facebook goes further and has become an internet giant. More than 400 million users support the service created by Mark Zuckerberg and despite the controversy over the sensitive issues of privacy, the fact is that Facebook has evolved and do so without prejudice to its users.
The most important feature is its staging, in which both the messages we introduce as we receive appear in the so – called wall, a space on every user profile that serves as a showcase of our activity on Facebook. The service recently tried to increase the importance of a feed news from different sources, but users were not too pleased with the property and now its operation is refocusing on the wall and in sections like the photos, which has an activity frantic comparable to Flickr, and unrestricted.
Despite their overwhelming social functions, Facebook is expanding its capacity to other areas. One of the most interesting initiatives is Facebook Connect, a service that allows authenticating on other web services with our own identity (username, password), in the manner of Google Friend Connect or OpenID.
The social games are one of its best-kept secrets. Although when you think of computer games seldom associated with social networks, these services are perfect for boosting the game online in which several players compete using the infrastructure of Facebook. The most important titles do not have the great graphics of their counterparts in consoles or Windows, but its potential to be profitable thanks to the huge number of users who are attracted to them is fantastic.
Mobility and partnerships
Another factor that influenced the success of Facebook has been its success in the field of mobile. The emergence of clients to smartphones like the Apple iPhone has allowed bringing Facebook to the small screen without losing virtually any functionality on the road. The taking photos with these mobile terminals and publication on Facebook is even more comfortable than we can do on the PC or laptop. In addition, there are notification systems that allow us to receive alerts when a contact updates their status and that message reaches our wall.
They are also key the alliances signed with Microsoft or Google. Its search engines are paying increasing attention to social networks and systems microblogging and Facebook, which already had an important strategic alliance with the Redmond company on advertising, has made updates in real time users are also considered.
All of these strengths make Facebook has a unique user community for attractive and is a leader in a field that will give much to talk about in the coming years.
- The best: The huge community of existing users, if you are not on Facebook, it will be difficult to find it in another service
- The worst: Setting the level of privacy remains debatable, although it has improved in recent reviews
The essential tool to keep abreast of all, a few years ago, the feeds RSS were the most interesting when the latest information on the Internet method, but a time now Twitter has become a media revolution that allows users and industry information act almost in real time. The communication possibilities offered by this microblogging service have been exploited by the media, who have found a service to be known but, above all, to communicate in 140 characters all types of updates of interest to users easily and instantaneous.
- The best: Its performance as a channel of information in real time, surpassing the messaging tool
- The worst: Hard connection with the sources of their updates
The ultimate expression of e-mail shows its credentials. Although many rely on social networks to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances, email remains the preferred by the vast majority of Internet channel. In this sense, Gmail (which can store up to 10 GB of free messages) proves every day that its commitment to simplicity and innovation has not been in vain. The service grows with paragraph Gmail Labs and integration capabilities such as task list or instant messaging, which make it an imperative to contact our community resource.
- Best: Its speed, simplicity and extra features that supposed Gmail Labs
- The worst: The management of attachments and space limits
Perfect client multiprotocol instant messaging, although there multiprotocol clients like Pidgin, which provide connectivity with our contacts network use instant messaging to use, the service offered by Meebo is especially interesting because it provides such benefits without having our own computer. Thus, we can connect to Meebo from an Internet cafe and maintain our contacts with whom we can chat without problems thanks to the compatibility with Yahoo! Messenger, .NET Messenger, AIM, ICQ, Facebook Chat, MySpaceIM or XMPP.
- The best: Its interface offers a simple way to get in touch with our acquaintances and chat with them
- The worst: The presence of intrusive advertising something
It’s integration with Yahoo! Messenger power this proposal, this free service mail via the web is the direct competitor to Gmail and Windows Live Hotmail and remains one of the major players in the market with 280 million users in 2009. In fact, it is considered more service users this segment ahead of Microsoft and, to reinforce that position, Yahoo! has built not long ago chose a lighter interface and clear in that also integrates applications (calendar photos, Flickr, storage) and Messenger, allowing use the service as an instant messaging client.
- The best: The Messenger integration and the new interface give more power to the service
- The worst: The low quality of the interface over its competitors
Integrated into Gmail, this service has its own personality. It is offered both as a web service in the cloud and in the form of the standalone client that can download on your computer for use without a browser. The client is available even for smartphones like the iPhone or Android phones. However, if we use the web service, we continue to enjoy the open XMPP protocol and we have the possibility to take advantage of video conferencing quality and voice calls. Its integration with Gmail is perfect, but Google Talk deserves to be treated as a separate service for its organization and performance.
- Best: Audio quality video and video is excellent, and also highlights its integration with Gmail
- The worst: The chat window embedded in the mail client
A social network designed by and for professional users. Themed social networks have not been too successful, but LinkedIn has been the exception that proves the rule. Thanks to its excellent performance and to a very wide acceptance among the community of users, LinkedIn has become a professional network that is essential for many of them. Promote professional contacts help find new talent and can represent a fantastic tool for HR departments and headhunters.
- The best: Excellent recommendation system that helps to keep in touch with professional colleagues
- The worst: Updates rare, given their more serious tone
Competition from Google Talk is allied with Microsoft. The alliance between these two giants has made users of Yahoo! Messenger can contact network users instant messaging Microsoft directly. Yahoo! Messenger service is integrated and directly with Yahoo! Mail -like Google Talk does in Gmail- and, therefore, is a direct rival for that proposal, which seeks to combat with support calls voice and video conferencing, the sending files or the presence of a system of plug-ins to extend its capabilities.
- The best: We are facing a customer with millions of users who add all Microsoft network
- The worst: Integrated chat window with a somewhat primitive aspect
Windows Live Hotmail
The evolution of the legendary Hotmail improves with age. Hotmail was for many years the reference in the field of webmail services, but the emergence of Gmail made its future remained in doubt. However, Microsoft has managed to reinvent Hotmail thanks to a more friendly interface and performance that are more limited than those offered by other proposals but may be useful for undemanding users. However, the aforementioned renewal of the design and the ability to access email easily through traditional clients like Outlook has improved the evaluation of this service.
- Best: Its good integration with other online services from Microsoft and its interface
- The worst: Uncomfortable service for a very visible advertising
The tool that wants to revolutionize the digital communication, you may not get your goal, but Google Wave has become one of the most promising segments of Internet communication. With it, Google intends to promote a jeep service that brings together the benefits of various communication solutions. The mail client is mixed in this way with the feed reader or client real – time updates, and the consortium is joined by the mini utilities that are in each message and conversation to incorporate images, videos, maps, documents and all kinds of elements.
- The best: Its power allows you to combine all kinds of items to a conversation with one or more users
- The worst: Too complex for even the most habituated
Social network comes down, but maintains its possibilities, although in our country Facebook and Twitter are the queens of the party, MySpace is another very important despite having been overtaken by its competitors social network. Its creators wanted from the beginning to give it a more musical tone and, for example, several bands and artists who use it as a promotional tool. However, this service has been more and now offering many parallels content, such as a television channel, a section of classified and some discussion forums that are still very popular.
- The best: If you are fond of music, probably MySpace is an excellent reference to follow
- The worst: Poor design and site security against hackers.