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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Facebook email: The new kid in town

Mark Zuckerberg actually does not want to call the new Facebook messaging system an email in the traditional sense. Neither would he term it as a “Gmail killer" like what has been speculated in the media. Mr. Zuckerberg said it is more than Gmail.
The latest Facebook product has been in the works for 15 months by a team of 15 engineers headed by Andrew Bosworth who said that it is the "biggest engineering team ever put up by Facebook for a new product.
It was Zuckerberg's interview with high schoolers, whenever he got the chance to talk to them that drove the Facebook chief to create the seamless messaging system. However, it was not what the teenagers are using as a way to communicate with one another that gave Zuckerberg the impetus, but rather it was what they are not using, the email.
According to the youngsters they are not using email because it was too slow and not real time. "It adds a lot of friction and cognitive load to the process of sending email and communicating", adds Zuckerberg.
Facebook messaging or Facebook email integrates the various messaging platforms, IM, sms, email into a single conversation thread with the other person or groups you are communicating to.
This feature is called seamless messaging and one of the three features included in the Facebook product which the conventional email does not have. The other feature is the conversation history where users can keep track of their communications over multiple platforms in one single history.
Social Inbox is another feature of the new messaging system. Here, the users' messages are stored in three separate categories: the "messages", where your most important messages are kept; the "others", for those which are not so important, and the "junk", where messages that are not valuable are thrown in.
For the general users of Facebook who are eager to try the new system, they will have to wait a little further. The initial launch will have the members of the press to try and test the product first and then give their feedback. The address will be given entirely optional for Facebook users who may wish to sign up.

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