Facebook Messaging is not an email service. I repeat, it is not an email service. Facebook are very keen to point this out, as they feel this is not the main USP of their concept, but what it is is a social communication tool that allows non Facebook users to converse over the internet with everyone else who is on Facebook. Eventually, all Facebook users will have the option of getting a facebook.com email address, whereby anyone can be contacted, however the ‘email’ is not in the usual format, doing away with subject lines and CC entries. The ‘emails’ will be in-keeping with the current Facebook chat and will also be sent in ‘real-time’. A default inbox will be socially themed, whereby any messages from your friends, or their friends (and their friends, and their friends…) will be viewed in one central location. Facebook have some nice ideas on security, (always a hot topic with new social network concepts) where you can block messages from people not on your ‘trusted’ list (All customisable on your security settings). However, Graham Cluley from Sophos states that, “It will be critical for Facebook to implement more effective filtering mechanisms to prevent fraudsters from manipulating Facebook users into falling victim to new spams, scams and phishing attacks.” By opting for a facebook.com address it means that all your messages will be logged. ‘That’s just the same as all other email providers!’ I hear you say, but they are not linked to your social profile. Hacking of the Facebook server would be tough, but it’s not impossible and if you think about some of the types of conversations had via SMS or Facebook chat, it soon becomes clear why you wouldn’t want this information finding its way into the public domain. If you use Facebook at work, (naughty naughty!) then you’re certainly going to have to improve the security strength of your password! Malware or spam messaging is still possible, (I am sure some of you have received messages from so-called friends only to discover it’s for a product you have never heard of!) and is definitely something Facebook will need to address. The social element, as expected, has been embraced when organising messages from friends, with every conversation had with a person showing in one place. So if throughout the day you have communicated with your friend via email, text message or Facebook Chat, all the messages will appear in one thread under that person’s name.
There is a smart little video too that will concisely explain the Facebook Messaging concept with simple little drawings and a nice voice over guy, check it out here. According to Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO), 350 million users make use of Facebook messages, sending 4 billion personal messages a day, with the number of messages sent on Facebook outpacing the growth of Facebook itself. So the potential is massive and definitely seems a strong contender to MSN, Hotmail, Yahoo! and more. But is it going to work? Will this really be the ‘total’ messaging service it’s hailed to be? Let me know your thoughts and leave your comments below.