expected, Facebook unveiled a messaging system on Monday, not an email system. While most have been positioning the system as a Gmail killer, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was clear in saying that:
“This is not an email-killer. This is a messaging system that includes email as one part of it.”
In fact, it's not called Facebook Mail, or Facemail. Instead it's just messages, and is intended to tie all your Facebook related messaging including, if you so desire, facebook.com email (which you will be able to add if you want).
Interestingly, this means that corporate email at Facebook will be moving from facebook.com to fb.com. It was reported earlier that Facebook
had recently acquired fb.com.
In a blog post
, Facebook noted the bullet points for the Messages feature:
You decide how you want to talk to your friends: via SMS, chat, email or Messages. They will receive your message through whatever medium or device is convenient for them, and you can both have a conversation in real time.
You don't, Facebook said, have to remember who wants to be IMed, emailed, or SMSed. You simply contact them via Messages and it goes the "right way."
Everything you've ever discussed with a Facebook friend is presented as a single conversation.
The Social Inbox
Your inbox is social. That means you get messages from your Facebook friends in your inbox. If you are using a facebook.com email address to communicate with your bank, it will go into an Other folder instead. If you want, you can move that email into the Inbox, and then later messages will go there.
All of this will be rolling out over the next few months. Users will be given invitations to the new Message service. You can also go to the Facebook Messages information page
and request an invitation.
Interestingly, since this had been positioned by the media as a Gmail
killer, Zuckerberg took some time to praise Gmail
Zuckerberg also talked specifically about Google’s product Gmail, since the new product has been talked about as a way for Facebook to compete against Google. Zuckerberg described Gmail as “a really good product”, and repeated that he doesn’t expect users to delete their Gmail accounts. After all, you can even use the new Facebook messaging with Gmail.