The New Facebook Messages System.

After much speculation, Facebook announced yesterday the launch of its new Messaging service.

Despite users being offered a new facebook.com email address, whatever you do don’t call it email!

Facebook says that it is more akin to chat or instant messaging than it is to a traditional email service, messages don’t have all the fields you typically associate with email like a subject or CC and BCC.

Facebook is rolling out Messages over several months.

Initially you can request an invite to join the early adopters.  Once you have received your invite and confirmed that you want the new messages system you are invited to claim a facebook.com email address matching your username.

Messages are delivered to you by whichever medium you choose: SMS, chat, email or Messages.  Messages and emails from friends are put into one folder, everything else is put into another.

The signs are that Facebook Messaging is going to be very successful.

With over 500 million users Facebook is the largest social networking website.  Initial feedback following the announcement is very positive with many users eager to start using the new system.  It remains to be seen if it lives up to the hype and whether Facebook have properly dealt with all the privacy issues that have dogged them on previous changes they have made to their service.

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