Even though more and more people have been using their Facebook accounts to send e-mails to their friends and family, apparently that’s not enough for the site’s head honcho Mark Zuckerberg. Earlier today, the youngster announced a new e-mailing service that he says is the next step in messaging.
The new “Messages” system will have the feel more of chat than e-mail.
“We don’t think a modern messaging service is going to be e-mail,” Big Z said about the new system. “It needs to be immediate… I’m not saying you need to send an e-mail and it shows up at the speed of light… We can do better.”
Every Facebook user will be able to get an @facebook.com e-mail address, but the company says its new service is more than just another e-mail system.
From a statement on Facebook’s Facebook page:
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 shouldn’t have to remember who prefers IM over email or worry about which technology to use. Simply choose their name and type a message…
Now people can share with friends over email, whether they’re on Facebook or not. To be clear, Messages is not email. There are no subject lines, no cc, no bcc, and you can send a message by hitting the Enter key. We modeled it more closely to chat and reduced the number of things you need to do to send a message. We wanted to make this more like a conversation.
Additionally, the service isn’t intended to be as wide open as regular e-mail. If users so choose, they can change their privacy settings so that they only receive messages from the people they actually want to hear from.
The company says it will gradually roll out the messaging service, which has reportedly been referred to by insiders as a “Gmail killer,” via invites to users over the next few months.
See the Messages that Matter [Facebook blog]