Monday, August 23, 2010

Facebook Buys IM Service, Hot Potato

Social network, Facebook, has purchased Hot Potato, an instant messenger (IM) service, for $10 million. Hot Potato is essentially a "super-Twitter," with seven status categories: TV/Movies, Music, Events, Reading, Contemplation, Gaming, and Activities. Together, these fields provide a far more replete snapshot of a user than Twitter or a mere Facebook update ever could; Hot Potato is a chronicling service -- a diary in digest form -- or superprofile.

Though Hot Potato updates can be broadcast across both and , unlike FriendFeed and MyBlogLog, Hot Potato users must manually enter their data; it does not keep track of their online activities. Hot Potato is also compatible with Foursquare, a geolocation service, but Facebook is releasing its own geolocation service called "Places" -- a service which was developed specifically to compete with Foursquare.

According to many analysts, blogging peaked some time back, its slow descent toward "death" brought upon almost solely by social networks and their status updates -- what many are calling "micro-blogging." The integration of Hot Potato into Facebook may impel some users to take-up actual blogging, but will definitely provide a more complete record of the user's identity, both online and off-.

This information will also benefit advertisers, developers, and analysts/researchers greatly. Not to mention one particular Cyberculturalist.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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