Microsoft and Facebook have teamed up to create an online document suite, much like Google Docs, where Facebook users can use their credentials to log into the site to collaborate on documents. While at first glance this service seems to be a simple duplicate to the already popular Google Docs, there are several advantages that Facebook and Microsoft are bringing to the table in an effort to provide a useful service.
The popularity of Facebook among college and high school students continues to escalate. Many students already have classmates as Facebook contacts on their Facebook account. Docs.com will be able to easily leverage the contact and friendship relationship of students in order to provide them with a collaboration platform for working on school projects, group projects, group papers and more.
One of the key advantages users of the Docs.com services will have is the ability to collaborate and share their documents seamlessly with their Facebook contacts. Changes recorded to documents will show up in the Facebook feed in order to track changes on the document the team have been working on. While this is no new feature when comparing to Google Docs, the tight integration with your Facebook contact makes collaboration of documents an easier and more streamlined process.
The hassle of arranging meetings for students to complete group projects can be overwhelming, especially in addition to an already hectic school schedule. In order to circumvent the problem of arranging group meetings, students can simply create a group and assign team members to the document and allow editing. All the changes to the document will be tracked through the students’ Facebook profile pages. Following changes through the Facebook profile page takes yet another step of the equation. Students will not have to constantly check the website to see whether there have been changes. Students will be able to log into Facebook, as they normally would, and any changes would be shown to the student.
While Facebook and Microsoft may not have targeted students as the primary market for the Docs.com service, it will certainly be a great deal of help to college and high school students. The easier it is for students to collaborate on a project, the more efficient and productive they will be. Tying Facebook and a collaborative document suite together will easily give students a centralized point for projects, while freeing up time for important things; video games, sleeping, pizza, and the other usuals.
Tom Krazit, “Microsoft, Facebook launch Docs.com”, CNET