I got my notification tonight inviting me to switch to the new Facebook messaging platform. If  you’re interested, I recorded a screencast of my life switch so you can see how it should go and how simple it is. It’s posted for public viewing at Exploring Social Media (more about that on Monday).

At first glance, it just seems like a neat feature update for the user. But think beyond your personal satisfaction (or something else to complain about) for a moment and think about what this does for Facebook. Integrating email (along with giving every user an @facebook.com email address) and text messaging into the same place you get your Facebook messages now brings many users a single inbox. No, that’s not true for businesses. But for consumers, it is.

A facebook message thread

Facebook has always billed itself as a social utility. It now becomes much more of one as people will begin to rely on the network for unified communication. Facebook smart phone apps will become the mobile destination of choice (if they aren’t already) for many people, and not just young people. Like it or not, this will drive even more users and more interaction on the site and make Facebook more of a necessity for people, rather than an entertainment option.

Some other immediate items to know about the functionality:

  • All the messages you send to and from someone are archived and threaded so y ou can keep an ongoing log of your communications with them. You can delete threads with a few steps, but know that you may need to do some inbox cleaning after the transition to archive a lot of old conversations.
  • You can send and receive messages via text message using the interface. Very handy for communicating with younger generations. I wouldn’t expect to see this come to the Facebook brand pages anytime soon, so don’t get your marketing hopes up. Page messages still go into the “Other” inbox which most people won’t look at.
  • You can email to an off-site address by simply typing it in the TO: field. Nice.

Do you have access yet? What do you think? Will you use Facebook more for staying in touch with people? Does the texting feature make it more appealing or confusing? The comments are yours.

Did you enjoy this blog post? If so, then why not:Leave Comment Below | Subscribe To This Blog | Sign Up For Our Newsletter |

About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

Other posts by

Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.TheFranchiseKingBlog.com The Franchise King

    Jason,

    Thanks for taking the time to report on this new feature.

    For me…I'm sticking with my current forms of communication.

    I don't need the latest newfangled tool to add to my ball of confusion, if you know what I mean.

    Plus, I'm paranoid enough when it comes to all things Facebook. They don't have my privacy on their “important” list. I have a problem with that.

    Just sayin…

    • http://www.traedays.com/blog/ trae_z

      like we often do with our yahoo, hotmail etc accounts where we import them via POP/IMAP and manage them with our gmail account; can we do the same for facebook?

      i tried using the “Check mail using POP3″ but it didn't work; i guessing cos of the mild facebook/gmail faceoff.

      anyone willing to share any tips?

      • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

        That would certainly be something I would see Facebook adding if it's not

        already available. (I don't think it is). But adding it would draw more

        people into Facebook for their mail. Makes sense that would be a

        soon-to-be-added feature.

  • http://www.care2.com/causes/trailblazers/ Sue Anne Reed

    They must have rolled out the feature tonight to a lot of folks. I got it, and I'm hearing from some others that they got it as well. I see it as being useful in helping to organize communications with the people that I already communicate on Facebook with — mostly friends and family. I've been finding it easier to message them on Facebook vs. jumping back over to email.

    However, I don't plan on bringing in my communications either from work and/or my other “professional” related conversations into Facebook.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joao-Macedo/100001921607741 Joao Macedo

    Work related emails (and probably every “consumer” registered in facebook has a work life) will still occur through regular email service providers (gmail, hotmail). Facebook is a leisure platform.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joao-Macedo/100001921607741 Joao Macedo

    Work related emails (and probably every “consumer” registered in facebook has a work life) will still occur through regular email service providers (gmail, hotmail). Facebook is a leisure platform.

  • W Carina

    question: facebook uses ones name for the email, so for example Max Mustermann would have an email address like maxmustermann@facebook.com … but what if there are people with the same? two max mustermanns? how is facebook solving that? does anyone know?

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Good question, Carina. The designation is based on your Facebook username.

      So Max Mustermann number two would have had something like maxmustermann2 in

      his system username.

  • mysticmanisha

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Glad to be useful! Thanks.

    • http://twitter.com/elizabethshelby Elizabeth Shelby

      Jason, this guy is the spammer who has been making the rounds lately. Google his comment word-for-word and you'll see he's posted the same exact thing numerous other places and has been called out and blacklisted amongst many SM professionals who call him “The Human Spammer.”

      Read the full story here: http://live-your-love.com/huma…/

  • http://soulati.com/blog Soulati

    The more Facebook tries to mainstream, the more I shy from its attempts. Security and privacy are numbers one/one on my list of fear factors. To introduce yet another email account into the mix is deadly and confuses the brand; now, if I were the consuming public only, I'd think twice.

    • http://twitter.com/elizabethshelby Elizabeth Shelby

      I agree. I find no need to have yet another email address, and certainly not one that Mark Zuckerberg owns. It seems annoying, as it would be one more place I'd need to regularly check messages. (Why isn't one personal email address enough?)

  • http://twitter.com/nronche Nathan Ronchetti

    I've found that since I got the new messaging platform I've used Facebook for messaging MUCH more often. The comprehensive threading of text, email and FB message is handled really well. What I have noticed, though, is how it has broken the ability for me to view messages through the browser on my Pre. When I attempt to access messages there, I'm looped back to the mobile/touch version of the FB home page–may be a known issue, may just be me.

  • http://www.traedays.com/blog trae_z

    like we often do with our yahoo, hotmail etc accounts where we import them via POP/IMAP and manage them with our gmail account; can we do the same for facebook?

    i tried using the “Check mail using POP3″ but it didn't work; i guessing cos of the mild facebook/gmail faceoff.

    anyone willing to share any tips?

  • Pingback: Facebook Email – Is it Pure Brilliance or a Scam?? « OzHosting.com Official Blog

  • Pingback: The Implications Of Your New Facebook Email Address | Sherweb blog

  • http://www.theuniuni.com/ cheap bras

    Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!