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Facebook’s new messaging system explained

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Amidst huge anticipation that how Facebook could kill Gmail, Facebook finally unveiled their long waited ‘Project Titan’ to the public. With the arrival of the new messaging system, the users will now be able to experience a whole new world of messaging not just limited to emails.

Founder Zuckerberg explains the new, improved Facebook messaging features at Web 2.0 summit

To be very clear, the new Facebook messaging feature is not some email system but a totally different environment of messaging. The system will sure give away addresses to users but again, that won’t be mandatory. If you don’t want, you might not take that id! This email id, as anticipated will be decided by your username. To check about your username, go to

According to Facebook founder Zuckerberg, there were a few things today’s communication system needed. He furthermore mentioned the key features a modern messaging system included; these included “seamless”, “informal”, “immediate”, “personal”, “simple”, “minimal” and “short”.

He also added that, “emails are too formal” and hence Facebook tried on creating something very informal. And accordingly, Facebook’s messaging system now boasts three important specifics:

Seamless messaging: With the new environment, it will be much easier to ping anyone; in fact, it will be much faster. Why? Because Facebook has integrated mails, texts, chats, and sms – all together in the new environment and if someone sends me a mail but I want to receive it via sms, I now will be able to do so! Getting me the message asap is the key here.

Also eliminated are those cc, bcc, and subject lines from Facebook messages. So now to send a message, all you need to do is type a name, type the message and press enter.

Social inbox: Just like Gmail’s priority inbox but loads better. I did mention so about my past post and how Facebook can user a user’s data and decide which messages are important and which ain’t. Facebook is doing exactly the same.

The social inbox will be one folder whereas the other folder will be “other” which will contain less priority and junk mails.

Users will be able to control whose message goes inside the “other” and who’s in the Social Inbox.

Conversation history: And the final feature is – no matter how you communicate – via message or mail or sms or IM, every message will be logged and all conversations will be stored at a single place. So if you log in a year back to see how you talked with a particular of your friend, you don’t have to go through bits and pieces here and there.

Now the conversation history and the conversation history are something I’m not falling for so soon, but seamless messaging is sure a crackerjack of an innovation Facebook has integrated.

However, a zillion doubts surround all the features. Like, how complicated or up to what level a user will be able to decide as far as “seamless messaging” goes. I mean, if you want to receive the sent email like an sms right now but like an email later in the evening, and you are on your mobile browser, how will you be able to decide? Will these settings be real-time or static?

Next doubt is, how complicated will be the privacy settings of the “social inbox”.

Against all speculations, Facebook's new features are not Gmail killers but entirely a different new environment for messaging

Facebook has already started rolling this feature out into public but it’s in an invite-only way for now. Facebook says the feature will be rolled out slowly over the next coming months.

Facebook also emphasized that how IMAP functionality will be enabled in the coming months and somewhere down the lane; they were very much keen to come up with VoIP functionality and another tech.

For the question whether it’s a Gmail or email killer – I would say not exactly. But yeah, you can call this system “a slow poison to emails”.

I personally think Facebook has hit the right button and there will be people who’ll fall for the system. Gradually there may come a point, when emails start looking dull and uninspiring especially to the new generation dudes and dudettes.

For now though, it will barely affect the popularity of email systems. What more I can say is there might be something already cooking inside webmail client’s board rooms and maybe there is a possibility that even webmail clients come up to the competition. You see AOL has already showed off the developments it is planning for a new mail system.

The invite-only feature will just enable the webmail company to buy more time!

Some people even said this feature resembled Google’s failed venture Google Wave. But those people I guess didn’t think much before babbling. Yeah maybe this system has a bit of similarity. But the point is, Wave was an entirely different product whereas this system is integrated into an already hit system.

I guess if Wave was integrated into Gmail, maybe who knows, how different would have been the scenario now!

I haven’t seen the new features as yet but have requested for an invite. If I run into luck, I will do another post as well.

More will sure follow as people explore new possibilities, bugs, and flaws with the environment.

On a concluding note, I’d say Facebook has emphasized on faster, informal, and hassle-free communication which is a pretty good innovation.

And if it’s a success or not? Only time can tell.

You can read what Facebook has to say about the new features here.


Written by rahulbhagchandani

November 16, 2010 at 10:02 am

Posted in Facebook

Tagged with , , , ,

One Response

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  1. when i log onto another computer, why doesn’t the brand new messaging system work? on my laptop, it works. but when i log on another computer it says that i still have the old messaging system. why?


    March 21, 2011 at 11:29 am

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