Want to contact someone, but don’t have their number? No problem, if you know what their name is. Provided they are a Facebook user, you will be able to get in contact with them through Messenger! In other words, Facebook is your new phone number.
Up until now, anyone who’s not your friend, a friend of a friend (depending on your privacy settings), or someone who does’t actually have your phone number, could not just message you on Facebook. Their message would simply go to Messenger’s spam inbox – Other. A message from someone like this will still not make it into your inbox, but will show up as a ‘Message Request’ that you can either reply to or choose to ignore. The “other” mailbox will be phased out.
David Marcus, Vice President of Messaging Products at Facebook, explained
[quote]We truly want to make Messenger the place where you can find and privately connect with anyone you need to reach, but only be reached by the people you want to communicate with. Now, the only thing you need to talk to virtually anyone in the world, is their name.[/quote]
So now, you can easily talk to someone you’ve just met – but aren’t Facebook friends with just yet – without having to go through the first step. Not that it’s a complicated step, but it does make communication a bit easier with people that you either don’t want to “be friends” with on Facebook or in real life. Many people do want to keep Facebook separate from their daily communications, and although we are given the opportunity to filter who sees what, Message Requests will really help users do this effectively.
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Let’s not forget that Messenger is a platform now, so it definitely gives anyone the opportunity to separate the two. Facebook for friends… Messenger for friends and everybody else. Pages (and most users) have been able to message others in a comment section instead of just replying to them for some time now and this new feature looks like a continuation of that. To me, it does sound like a major development – not just a minor change.
Marcus set some expectations for this,
[quote]Look for more in the months to come as we continue to improve ways to find the people you want to communicate with.[/quote]
Hmmm… cryptic. Have you seen the new Message Requests feature yet? Where do you think Facebook is going on this one?
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