As famous film critic Roger Ebert also outlines in his Sun-Times blog, the entry of Facebook into the live-streaming pantheon gives people who might never use the technology an opportunity to check it out. We're talking about folks like grandma, who might actually enjoy cheering Batman on, but was afraid to give her credit card to a website other than the one feeding her nasty Farmville addiction.
Rog says while that's all fine and good, Facebook live-streaming is not a service he'll be clicking the "Like" button on anytime soon. He goes on to reassure us that he's not opposed to streaming movies online, and outlines a number of services he takes advantage of -- including the reigning champ, Netflix. He also supports some of the lesser-known companies like Mubi.com, who specialize in art house and foreign cinema classics, as well as AsiaPacificFilms.com, where you can indulge in one of the 199 movies from South Korea (score!).
The outspoken critic makes it clear that Facebook's ongoing security issues are his biggest concern, but he's also not digging their user interface. "It's easier to use the Mac operating system right out of the box than to manage a Facebook account," he jabs. Rog also seems to be missing the feedback that sites like Netflix or Amazon provide. There, you can read full reviews of films, page through dozens of recommendations based on what you've watched in the past and check out a variety of movies broken down into subgenres.
While Facebook continues to try to take over the world, Ebert isn't buying into the bigger-is-better theory. "Growth is not excellence. It's so enormous not because of programming genius but because of a mass compulsion to be part of the crowd. But since Zuckerberg or the twins had the great original stroke of insight, do you think the site has been particularly well-managed?" he asks. "If it's not making money, I'm in favor of monetizing it. Sell ads. But don't cannibalize sophisticated sites that do what they do perfectly well. And what kind of a streaming platform insists that you can only "Like" a movie?"
Are you siding with Ebert when it comes to live-streaming your favorite movies on Facebook? Where do his gripes go right or wrong?