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Facebook – Expanded Messaging Platform

Mark Zuckerberg took the stage today during a live stream event and confirmed all of the rumors about Facebook announcing a new messaging platform. The focus was on three key areas.

Seamless Messaging

Communicating with different people requires us to think of which way each person tends to prefer to hear from us. One person may be easiest to reach via SMS, another might be email. But Facebook aims to make us not worry about that and instead just send a message – any message.

  • The new system will handle SMS, all brands of Instant Messaging, E-mail, and Facebook messages
  • The system also offers email addresses, which are presumably required to take advantage of all of the integration. You’ll get the email address that matches your user ID. (ie- =

Conversation History

A benefit of a seamless messaging platform that aggregates all contact mediums is that it offers the opportunity to also combine conversation history.

  • You can get an email from a friend and then view it in the timeline with all of your other communications with that person. You then respond to it via email instantly just like it was SMS.
  • In order to handle all of this technically they have invested in new infrastructure for their Apache Hadoop platform and extending other systems such as their photo handling system, caching, etc. The goal is to ensure a robust and reliable architecture for long term usage.

Social Inbox

Since Facebook already knows who you consider to be a “Friend” the new system will filter all of the messages similar to modern spam catching applications.

  • Messages will initially come into your Messages folder if they are from your friends or their friends.
  • Other messages will go into the “Other folder”.
  • You can move people between your Messages and Other folder whenever you feel like it.
  • If you want to not get any mail from people other than friends you can set the service to literally bounce mail from anyone else.


The new messaging platform will initially be invitation only, and will be rolled out over the next several months. It’ll be interesting to see how the early users who are exposed to the system feel about it. You can see Facebook’s official blog post on the subject here.

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