Nobody can argue against Twitter’s exploding popularity. We’ve seen developers create applications, both mobile and desktop, that create a more powerful user experience than the web’s offerings. Facebook has hundreds of millions of users, so where are all the Facebook applications?
Sadly, there aren’t many specifically developed to expand the Facebook experience. We see integration of Facebook feeds in Twitter applications like Seesmic and TweetDeck, but the functionality is severely lacking. As Facebook continues to expand their user base, they’re seeing more and more people using it as their primary communication tool between friends. Instead of emails, users are relying on their Facebook inbox and wall communication. Instead of instant messaging clients like AIM and MSN Messenger, they’re using Facebook chat. Facebook is becoming more than what we know to be social networks. It’s an advanced communications tool. So if Facebook is becoming the go to place for communication and interaction, why aren’t there application clients designed specifically for the Facebook experience? Millions of users would love to see applications that offer all of the features that are available on the web, improved and ported into a desktop application.
Earlier, Microsoft released a Windows desktop application dedicated to Facebook called Fishbowl. Fishbowl is a full-featured desktop client that allows for full browsing of all you’re Facebook data. You get complete access to your friend’s list, profiles, and photos in a beautiful application experience. They’ve built in support for multi-touch navigation and gestures, which is geared to really improve photo browsing. Notifications are pinned to the taskbar and using aero peek allows you to quickly check profiles from the taskbar. Try out Fishbowl if you’re a Windows user. Microsoft says it’ll work with XP, Vista, and 7.
Hopefully we see more and more developers jumping on the idea, resulting in some truly amazing Facebook desktop clients. Microsoft has set the pace, and it’ll be interesting to see where this leads. Would you use a Facebook desktop application instead of the web? If you haven’t already tested Fishbowl, give it a go and let us know how Facebook outside the web feels.