Advice from Unofficial Guide to FB Privacy and Security – Upgraded Messages service.


Advice from Unofficial Guide to FB Privacy and Security – Upgraded Messages service.

Facebook has upgraded its messages service as discussed by Mark Zuckerberg and Andrew Bosworth last year. You can read Facebook’s explanation on ‘The New Messages‘ here – http://www.facebook.com/about/messages/ and Facebook’s Help Center has a page full of FAQ’s here – http://www.facebook.com/help/?topic=new_messages
The new service is designed to make messaging more seamless so that your conversations in messages, chat, or via mobile, can continue as one long thread.  So for instance if you are a Facebook Chat user and the friend you are talking to goes offline, your comment can be delivered to their inbox.  If your friend has Facebook Mobile service switched on, you can deliver the comment to their phone as a text.  Note if you don’t use Chat or Facebook mobile, you don’t have to activate those services.  You can simply continue to send messages (or facebook ’email’) as you did before.
So this was the pop-up I was shown when I clicked on my messages icon today:
If I click ‘Learn More’ I am taken to the Facebook messages explanation I showed above.
I went to my Messages dashboard which has changed slightly.  The default view is to show Facebook messages, but you can choose to only see your sent mail and other options by clicking on the icon shown in this picture:
You will notice there is a choice to view ‘Email Only’.  This is for users who have a facebook.com email address.  This is not a compulsory product so users can continue to use Facebook messages as before.  For those interested in obtaining a facebook.com email address more info can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=19031
One of the big changes with new Messages is the ‘Other‘ folder.  Facebook pre-determines what messages they feel you will deem most important and place them in your default inbox.  Messages from pages or people who aren’t your friend might be placed in that folder. So it is important to check the Other folder and make sure you don’t miss anything.  Users can also change the destination folder if they wish.  So if messages from a specific group are placed in your Other folder, you can choose to have future messages from that Group delievered to your default Inbox. This also works the other way around.   It is a little like the ‘Updates’ folder we had before, but it encompasses more.  For instance I can now choose to have messages from Facebook’s Site Governance page delivered to my default Inbox as they contain pertinent changes to policy.  As with everything it will need tweaking, just as normal email does when the occasional message from someone important ends up in the spam folder.
Writing/ replying to a message.
There are a couple of new options available when you write a message.  For example users can engage the ‘Quick Reply’ mode, as seen on new Groups where pressing Enter sends the message.  The default is on, but the first time you press enter with it engaged you will be warned with a pop up of the Quick Reply function and asked if you want to send.  Like this:
If you uncheck the Quick Reply box it will be turned off.  If you need to pararagraph-break using Quick Reply just press shift and enter.  On the screenshot below you will also notice that he person who I’m messaging is shown in a Facebook sponsored story, which states that he isn’t using new Messages yet and asks if I want to invite him to upgrade.  Don’t be alarmed by this.  Facebook is rolling this out to all users anyway. 
Facebook also gives the option to send the message as a text message.  If you choose this option and the recipient doesn’t have Facebook Mobile activated, you will be asked if you want to ‘encourage’ them to turn on text messaging:

If you aren’t sure if your friend wants to be contacted by Facebook asking them to give their mobile number or switch on text messaging, just press ‘skip’. The Mobile Texts faq’s can be found here – http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=821.

I will edit this note with chat and facebook.com screenshots shortly.

Any questions check the help center faq’s link at the top of this note.  Thank you.


Join Unofficial Guide to FB Privacy and Security at http://www.facebook.com/privacyguide
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