Has Facebook Revolutionised the Way We Communicate Online?

Facebook is currently rolling out its new messaging system, which in the coming months will gradually become available to all users. Instead of offering a revolutionary new method of communication, Facebook will provide a way to easily combine three of the most common communication methods in use today: text messages, e-mails and online chats. Users will be able to carry out a ‘conversation’ that weaves its way across the various media based on the preferences of the parties and whether everyone is online at a given time or not. For example, a conversation that begins by e-mail may move into Facebook’s online chat system for a time, sidetrack into a text message or two, then return to e-mail.

New Facebook Message System

Users will have a fair amount of control over the process, with privacy settings restricting who can use various messaging options, and two message folders keeping personal conversations separate from the various impersonal messages most Facebook users receive in abundance (page updates, messages from potential friends, etc). Users will be able to move conversations between folders as desired, and to delete conversations when they are no longer needed.

One of the great strengths of this new system is that it will provide users with an ongoing record of a conversation, regardless of whether it took place by e-mail, chat, text message, or a combination of the three. Facebook will also be able to direct new messages to the appropriate medium (chat or e-mail) based on whether the recipient is online or not.
Facebook’s new system is unlikely to take over completely from e-mail, but it could well become a major player in the area of social communication between groups of friends looking for a more flexible communication option than that provided by traditional e-mail systems.

The Inside Facebook website has a more in-depth review, come back and let us know what you think.

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