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Facebook Releases New Messaging To Everyone

Last month I received free invites to send to friends and promote switching to the new Facebook messaging system. I received about 100 invites and could not invite everyone who asked me for one since I didn’t have enough. I submitted a request for more and needless to say, on Friday, Facebook announced that all users will soon be able to migrate to the new messaging platform.

Here is the actual message which was post on the Facebook blog and here.

My request was not what prompted the announcement, Facebook was probably getting tons of requests from people wanting the upgrade – which unlike the profile upgrade, might make sense.

When it was first released, the expectation was that the rollout would happen gradually, but now it seems that the roll out will happen faster and very soon.

Perhaps the messaging system enables people to stay connected longer on the site, perhaps its because there is another communication release coming soon (likely the ability to make phone calls). Who knows? However, one thing is certain, the idea that Facebook messaging would replace Gmail is not happening.

Sure you can send and receive emails to any email address using the cool @facebook.com address, even to people not on the site. However, the new messaging system is not email and does not operate like your typical email. Unlike Gmail, one big difference is that all messages go into one default folder and there is no ability to tag or label the message.

They also group conversations from the sender together like a thread. And when I say group – I mean they group all conversations from the same sender into one thread. Its not done by dates or messages – its done by sender, all into one big thread which I don’t really like.

The benefit to the new messaging system is essentially that it acts as extended instant messaging system with SMS – where you can message your friends and they will get it despite them being online or not, or whether they are using a mobile device or a regular browser, so this is a great upgrade in that regards. There is also the ability to have history from all the messages, even chat messages. This didn’t exist before for chat.

And according Facebook, IMAP support for messages is coming so you could be sending and receiving messages from third-party applications. Yet its not clear when this will be happening.

One last thing to keep in mind, is that several companies block Facebook, so if you are sending emails to your friends using their work email address the message may not get to them. Hence, this is one big concern for people wanting to use more of the new messaging service.

However I do admit, its kinda cool having a @facebook.com email address.

Here is the video they published when the new messaging system was announced last November.

Foto Courtesy of Janire Quintairos.