Google Groups I must say are really impressive. Google made a great service when they bought DejaNews back in 2001. Yahoo! Groups are also another good mailing list and group discussion service but with so many people creating Facebook Groups for anything and everything, you have to wonder will this be the next area of Facebook that will start to be taken seriously by Facebook. Right now it’s awful to use and manage. There’s no wall activity to let you know people have contributed to group discussions without you going off to check it out. A right pain when you are subbed to a lot of groups.
If Facebook get their groups sorted, it could mean even more opportunities to get people to use their service, especially if they allow business people to sub and contribute by email.
Hopefully with this new cash injection they’ll start improving their existing offerings while bringing out new services too. With the MS money maybe they’ll do the following:
- Messaging service improvements
- Create a Facebook IM service. A few blogs have mentioned this and it makes perfect sense really. Now, if they based this on Jabber it’d be fantastic. Maybe with their cash they’ll buy Meebo?
- Roll out a contextual ad system based on ALL of that profile data they’ve been logging.
- Fix up Facebook groups so businesses will start using them. And then to annoy Google even more, allow selective indexing of the front page of the groups, like selective indexing of Facebook profiles.
- Enable outside search.
- Enable outside advertising.