Facebook's new messaging system
will it be worth the Hype?
Email killer? Next -Generation messaging? Or a target for spam? However you see it; Facebook's new messaging system has created global attention. The new email system began a 'slow roll-out' from November 15. Eventually the service will expand to include all of Facebook's more than 500 million users. The question remains; will it be worth the hype?
What is it?
Facebook's more-than-just-email messaging system is designed to create a seamless messaging experience; consolidating all of your interactions with other people. The new messaging service blends e-mail, instant messages and text messages into a single conversation history that can be accessed anywhere.
With the new email messaging comes Facebook email addresses, with the address defaulting to your Facebook user firstname.lastname@example.org. These unique email addresses are available to all users who want one.
The idea is that the system will recognise which emails are more important than others, based on your interaction with the sender and place them in the appropriate format. Theoretically, you can send a Facebook message to another user and it will show up on the most used platform- either in SMS, IM, email, or a Facebook message. The response will also be returned in the most appropriate platform for your needs.
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Convergent Messaging Options
More than four billion messages are sent everyday on Facebook and according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg , this system will make sure there is a single conversation history with each person. Instead of searching through the different formats, you will get the message converted to the best medium for you; be it via email, IM, SMS or standard Facebook message.
A major feature of this system is Facebook's own version of Google's Priority Inbox. Like Google, Facebook messages will have three tiers; people you want to hear from, 'other stuff' like newsletters, and junk mail. Privacy settings can also be set so only chosen people can message.
No Subject Lines or Message Threads
Those who regularly use email should be prepared for a little disappointment as there is no ability to read messages by subject lines or message threads. There is also no Internet Message Access Protocol(IMAP), though Facebook claims it will be implemented.
Target for Scammers and Spammers
According to some security experts, Facebook's new system will be a nice target for makers of malware, spammers and scam experts. Security concerns have been raised as to whether the system can identify fraud through phishing attacks and spam.
The reactions after the Facebook announcement ranged from intrigued to scared off. However, for convenience, we tend to agree with Facebook that the new messaging system will be a simple, all-in-one email solution. Only time will tell whether security will remain an issue.