Microsoft just announced that Facebook will be providing an exclusive app for the Windows 8 operating system. This stands in contrast to Facebook’s comparatively cookie cutter approach to apps on mobile devices, which are notoriously weak compared to their standard web app. This seamless integration between the Facebook and Windows 8 experiences is rife with good possibilities, but it does beg a certain suspicion: Will Facebook go the way of Microsoft?
I am speaking in broad strokes, but hear me out, internet. In the past 15 years Microsoft went from being the be-all-end-all of desktop computing, to a silent majority of sorts, taking a huge (yet shrinking) market share without innovating. It seemed, most were obligated to use Windows, not excited.
Facebook has received criticism for being a too big, yielding a dearth of that communal, simple feel that other websites have. Indeed, I feel I use Facebook for necessary connections with the unwashed masses of people in my life; my aunt may have messaged me, my friends from for forever ago need keeping up, and I want to promote my articles to any and all people who will read it. #humblebrag.
However, just as I flock to Apple to do anything worth my passion and creativity, I use Vine, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for any number of experiences that would be lost in the muddle on Facebook. Perhaps Zuckerberg and company know this, and their attempt to work and play nicely with Windows is a way of continuing their incumbent prevalence in the world at large.
Here’s hoping they do not lose sight of their hunger for innovation. Facebook is famous for flaunting their users' expectations by suddenly revamping their interface, regardless of approval in the short term. As long as they continue these breathless attempts to give the user what they want before they even know they want it, they will stay above the mire of Windows: that constant risk of innovative mediocrity in regards to any given product or service.