Facebook unleashes Messages

Dylan Bushell-Embling
16 Nov 2010

Facebook's new integrated messaging system has some pundits suggesting it could irrevocably change email, despite CEO Mark Zuckerberg's insistence that the service is “not an email killer.”

The company yesterday unveiled its upcoming Messages service, which allows both senders and receivers to decide which format - including SMS, IM, or email - to view conversations in.

The company is offering @facebook.com email addresses to every Facebook user which wants one. But “Messages is not email,” Facebook engineer Joel Seligstein said. “There are no subject lines, no cc, no bcc, and you can send a message by hitting the Enter key.”

The service has a “social inbox” which collates messages by friend accounts, and can be configured to bounce any emails not received from friends.

Seligstein said Messages will be rolled out to all Facebook users over the next few months.

Pre-release reports suggested that the Messaging service, codenamed Project Titan, was viewed internally as a challenge to webmail services such as Google's Gmail. But announcing the project, Zuckerberg said he didn't expect people to shut down their email accounts anytime soon.

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