the culture and values of social media

Review: MySpace IM

Posted: June 14th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: social networking, software | 8 Comments »

MySpace launched its instant messenger clone in beta a few months back and now it appears to be ready for prime time. I installed it and have a few thoughts on the product.

Setup is easy, just download and install the application.

However, adding friends is a big pain. The app doesn’t autopopulate your friends list, and there’s no feature to let you add all of them at once. Rather, clicking “Add Your Friends to IM” brings up your Friends, 20 per page, sorted (as usual) by date the person joined MySpace. (The way your FL is sorted, BTW, is one of my top pet peeves of the site, because it makes it really difficult to find people if you have large numbers of friends. Why can’t they institute alphabetical sorting already?) Since you can’t see all your friends on one page, you have to go page by page and click “add everyone on this page to IM” which, if you have 321 friends like I do, is a big pain in the ass. I had to do this 18 times.

The second obvious flaw is that the application does not integrate with MySpace’s pre-existing IM feature. I’d expect that my Friends who are on MySpace currently would display within the IM application as “online now”. But this isn’t the case. Rather, in order to chat with your MySpace friends through the application, they need to install and configure it. So the IM is basically useless if your friends haven’t bothered to do so. As a result, the only one of my “friends” online is “Tom”.

What works

- Smooth interface without too much extraneous advertising; less intrusive than MSN or AIM (I use Trillian and Google Talk).
- Makes it very easy to access various MySpace features
- Plus, gives MySpace persistent desktop real estate.
- Easy application installation

What doesn’t work

- Setting up friends is a big pain
- Should integrate with pre-existing MySpace IM/PM features

Overall: A great deal of room for improvement. I won’t be using this until enough of my friends install it for it to become compelling. MySpace should also realize that their early adopters on these types of technologies will likely be power users who have tons of friends, and adjust the UI accordingly.

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8 Comments on “Review: MySpace IM”

  1. 1 harryh said at 2:24 pm on June 14th, 2006:

    My question: are people actually going to use this? Everyone on MySpace already uses IM in one form or another. Are they really gonna switch to yet another im client?

    Dens says no. I say…maybe?

    Too bad it isn’t just Jabber.

  2. 2 alicetiara said at 3:03 pm on June 14th, 2006:

    Yeah, I know. I don’t understand why they didn’t just partner up with the big IM programs and release a special MySpace toolbar or something.

    When I was talking about this to Sean yesterday (before I installed it) I thought it was a really smart idea, but that was before I realized that it didn’t integrate with MySpace’s current built-in IM. If it did I think it could totally catch on, because the assumption is that you then automatically have all your MySpace friends’ IM screennames instead of having to find and add them on each service. But yeah, as far as I know everyone under the age of 20 uses IM like mad.

  3. 3 tsiolkovsky said at 7:08 am on June 15th, 2006:

    So they have created another proprietary IM protocol instead of using some existing open standard like Jabber or XMPP. Not very smart in my optinion. They are wasting their time reinventing the wheel.

  4. 4 chad said at 11:54 pm on December 13th, 2006:

    thanks

  5. 5 Daidq said at 7:59 am on April 20th, 2007:

    Yea, it really sucks because I’m trying to add 5000 friends to my im and it’s taking me just about forever to do it!!!

  6. 6 Greg. said at 6:34 am on June 12th, 2007:

    You don’t have 5,000 friends. And if you do, you need to get off your dick-spinning wigger existence and take a breath of flesh and bone. Go suck a Jap cock faggot.

  7. 7 warlord said at 9:28 am on June 12th, 2007:

    cool

  8. 8 IndelibleSatire said at 4:34 pm on July 30th, 2007:

    Why are you calling it an Instant Messenger clone? Do you have any idea how many instant messengers already exist, it’s not some rip off AIM source code, it’s its own thing. That’s like saying if I program pong its a clone of Super Mario Brothers 1.


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