Microsoft rolled out the latest little update to the Xbox 360/Xbox Live service this week in the form of a couple applications. You can now access your Facebook, Twitter and Last.FM accounts via the Xbox 360 dashboard. Now I understand that Microsoft is trying to bring all aspects of social media onto their platform and make them easily accessible by it’s users, but why? The only one that makes any sense to have the Xbox 360 is last.FM and I think it’s great that they’ve added support for it, but what am I going to do with Facebook and Twitter on my Xbox?
To be perfectly honest I have not tried out the Last.FM application yet, but just in theory alone it sounds like a perfect match for the 360. It gives you the ability to stream all sorts of music through your TV. Last.FM is a great service that I use on my computer all the time and I think people will use it quite a bit when entertaining guests, etc. However, Facebook and Twitter seem absolutely pointless to use on the 360. Both applications are extremely basic and I can’t see myself ever using them again. I installed them the other day just to test out and see what sort of features they were offering, maybe Twitter would tweet out what game I was playing or what achievement I just received or maybe Facebook would update my status with the same information, but as far as I can tell they don’t do anything really.
The Twitter application is about as basic as you can get, picture what the Twitter.com homepage was when it first started out. It’s basically the updates from all of the people you are following and then a box where you can enter what you are doing, oh and you can access the Twitter trends. That’s it. I don’t know about most people, but I follow a lot of random people that I don’t always want to read about which is why I like TweetDeck and it’s ability to separate people into different groups for easier reading, not so much here. It’s just one long list of updates from all of the people you follow and it only fits about 10 updates per screen. I don’t know, maybe there was a demand for this, but I personally think it’s pointless and will never take the time to log back into it ever again.
Now let’s talk about Facebook. Again, why on the Xbox 360? It makes no sense! The interface is clumsy, it uses the same tile structure that the dashboard itself uses and it barely displays anything on the screen at one time. Maybe I didn’t dive into it enough, but from what I gathered in the few minutes I played around with it, I will never be logging in to it again unless it can do something like show me my Facebook friends that also have Xbox Live and what their gamertag is or something. I know it asked me when I logged in for the first time if I wanted to display my gamertag somewhere within Facebook, I said yes, but I have no idea where it’s displaying it. Maybe this is a feature and I just didn’t take the time to find it, or maybe my friends have the same feelings as me and find Facebook on the Xbox pointless and didn’t even bother logging in.
So are people actually using the Xbox 360 for Facebook and Twitter? I don’t know how many people have a keyboard or the chatpad hooked up to their 360 (not me), but it takes a damn long time to type anything using the on screen keyboard even if it is only 140 characters. So I don’t know, are you guys using this? Did you try it out at least? Am I missing the point of all this? Do the apps have the ability to update my Twitter with games I’m playing? Someone please tell me what I’m missing here, why would Microsoft waste their time doing this?