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As you may have heard Facebook was rumoured to be releasing it’s own Email client with fb.com email addresses that would directly compete with Gmail, change email marketing forever and destroy deliverability as we know it.
Well, yesterday Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg took the stage and presented ‘Facebook Messaging’ – codenamed ‘Project Titan’. The basis of this is to deliver the next generation of messaging via Facebook.
Facebook Messaging is based around 3 main concepts.
“The next evolution of Messages”: People just want to communicate, they don’t want to have to worry about how their friends gets the message: SMS, Email, IM, just that they get it and in the most convenient way for them. This new platform can decide for you, depending on how your friend(s) communicated with you – it will obviously still give you the chance to override but it’s likely it will make the right choice. This will remove the complication of how messages are sent, all you need to is send it to them via Facebook and Facebook will make the right choice of how your friend gets the message. This is also where your firstname.lastname@example.org email address will come in, so people can email you at Facebook making it easy to have conversations with your friends over email and multiple mediums.
Keeping track of conversations with friends in Facebook has been testing at best. In response Facebook have built a messaging interface that will give you each conversation with each person in an easy to read single stream, like a conversation! The history will track back to the very beginning.
The Social Inbox
This is what was being called the Gmail killer…
Facebook will provide an inbox, with 3 sections: Friends, Other Email and Junk. You should never need to go to the junk one – but you know will!
The friends inbox will be all of the people you are friends with in Facebook:
An email comes in, Facebook sees that the email address is the address of one of your Facebook friends and will put it in the Friends Inbox.
Another email comes in but the address is not that of a Facebook friend and it will go into the Other Inbox. If they actually are a friend, the act of moving that email to the top folder and all future emails will go there.
As you can probably tell, I don’t think Gmail’s worried.
Mark himself stated that this was not about email, it was about messaging and communication between friends, it not about email.
The inbox itself will not have the complex rules, filters, tags, labels and folders that our existing email clients have, so this could never replace my existing Gmail or Thunderbird. I’m sure that there is more to come though…
and there is: next post picks up where this left off…
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