Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Facebook's Facelift: How Facebook is Making Instantaneous Messaging Even More Instant!

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At the Facebook Live press event in San Francisco yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg reflected on a time when he asked high school students why they use SMS texting and Facebook messaging rather than e-mail. Their response: “E-mail is too slow.” Our response: WHAT?! Since when did e-mail, supposedly an instantaneous form of communication, become too SLOW?

This is what sparked the idea of Facebook’s new messaging system, which Facebook will be rolling out gradually over the next few months. Currently, more than 4 billion Facebook messages are sent per day. With Facebook’s new messaging system, users can expect more modern, immediate, informal, and personal communication in real-time.

Facebook’s new messaging system will contain 3 key elements:

1) Seamless Messaging

With this feature, users have the opportunity to combine their Facebook chats and messages with their SMS texts, emails, and instant messages, so that all forms of messaging are cohesive and conversations can be continued whether users are already on Facebook, checking their e-mail, or on their phones. Each Facebook user will be given an e-mail address @facebook.com, which will direct messages to their Facebook inbox.

2) Conversation History
With Facebook’s new messaging system, “context isn’t wasted, context is meaningful.” This feature will organize the routing of messages between two people from all different sources (Facebook, SMS texts, Instant Messages). In a conversation history, users can easily refer back to past conversations that they’ve shared with their friends.

3) Social Inbox
The social inbox filters messages and organizes them into three folders: Messages, which will contain top-priority messages from close friends, Other Messages, which will contain messages that are relevant, but not a high priority and Junk, which will contain the messages that are not of direct interest to the user. To ensure that users can read the messages that directly apply to them, they will be able to move conversation threads between the different folders.

Some say that this new messaging system has been Facebook’s biggest technical challenge to date. What do you think? How will this new system affect your day-to-day communication with colleagues and friends? Is the new Facebook messaging system a threat to e-mail providers such as Gmail and Yahoo? What does this mean for your business?

We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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