Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Monday took the wraps off Facebook's latest innovation, a 'seamless messaging' system..
The social-networking site's new version of messaging is built to work with Facebook IM and other IM and SMS systems.
"It's not email. It handles email in addition to Facebook messages, and Facebook IM, and other IM and SMS and all the other different ways that you want to communicate," Zuckerberg said, as reported by ZDNet UK's sister site CNET News. "It's true, people are going to be able to have Facebook.com email addresses, but it's not email."
The three areas of the announcement include 'seamless messaging', conversation history and social inboxes.
Facebook engineer Andrew Bosworth shows off the new Facebook email addresses, and how they slip into your existing online Facebook identity (your username).
The new Facebook Messages allows you to consolidate your chat messages, text messages, existing private messages and email. It's meant to allow you to manage your online conversations more seamlessly and simply, keeping all your messages in one place.
For instance, if a friend is using the new messages, then they will be able to pass on an invitation to you too.
As part of the 'seamless messaging' service, all of your messages on Facebook will be consolidated into one place. Messages from chat or via text — if enabled through account settings — will arrive in your Facebook Messages folder in a seamless way. You'll be able to focus on the content from your friends, and unknown senders such as fan pages and events will go to the 'other' folder.
Your Facebook username will become your new Facebook email identity. If you are www.facebook.com/joebloggs14 then your new email address for the site will become firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don't already have a Facebook username, then you can pick one in this window.
You can also send and receive messages from your phone. If you set up text message notifications, then you can send and receive messages to and from your mobile device, and these will also be included in the Facebook Messages window. This means you can finish a chat with someone, send them a private message later on in the day, and when you are on the train home, send a text message where data may be in poor reception.
Messages that are sent over Facebook chat are also recorded in Facebook Messages. This means you can appear offline but still continue that seamless conversation over Messages.
Photo credit: ZDNet.com
The actions menu will allow you to forward entire conversations, add people to the conversation, archive, spam report or delete. Many of these options are available in existing email solutions like Hotmail and Gmail, though Facebook's communications are limited to the social network only.