Recently Facebook announced its new Facebook Messages platform. The long-anticipated product, which was originally thought to be a Facebook email service, turns out to not be an email service at all but rather a complete reimaging of conversational messaging. Modeled after Facebook Chat, Facebook Messages is comprised of three core components: seamless messaging, cross-platform conversation history, and the social inbox.
The seamless messaging system provides users with a simple way to keep in constant contact with each other and carry on a conversation – in real time. This is different from email because the Facebook Message system is modeled after Facebook Chat. Facebook removed the subject line and encourages users to communicate with each other as if it were a verbal conversation. Users can send messages back and forth seamlessly and pick up conversations right where they left off.
Cross-Platform Conversation History
Once you’ve signed up to use the free Facebook Messages platform, you’ll be given an @Facebook.com email address. When you access your account, all conversations that take place going forward, whether they be via email, text messages, instant messaging, Twitter updates, and Facebook posts (just for starters), will record in one seamless stream. You will have a complete conversation history no matter where the conversation took place.
The Social Inbox
The new social inbox is intended to stay clean, spam-free, and well organized. When you log on to your Facebook Messages account, the only messages you’ll see are messages from your friends and their friends. That’s it. You’ll have the ability to adjust your privacy settings to determine exactly what you see and will have the ability to filter everything you don’t want to bounce back or save into a folder called, “Other.”
Facebook Messages is rolling out slowly and is currently available to users on an invitation-only basis. It’s too early to tell just how successful it will be, but the screen shots and promotional video seems promising. Will this be a game changer? We’ll soon see.
(For more information on Facebook messages, including a promotional video about the new features, as well as a slide show with a Facebook Messages walkthrough check out this article on Mashable.Com.)