Why Messaging via Facebook Rocks

facebook Facebook has a ton of interesting features, but one of the most boring is increasingly becoming my favorite – messages. The wall is what most people think of when communicating via Facebook, but private messages are the way to go when you’d rather not have everyone reading what you have to say.

Here’s why I like messaging via Facebook:

  1. There’s no need to remember someone’s email address. There are lots of reasons that people get new email addresses, such as when they graduate, switch jobs, or switch ISPs. Unless you converse with someone regularly, keeping track of their email address can be a bit of a pain. On Facebook, all you need to know is a name.
  2. There’s no need to manage an address book. One solution to the above problem of remembering email addresses would be to create and maintain an address book. That can be quite a bit of work though. On Facebook, everyone is responsible for keeping their own information up-to-date, so you don’t have to worry about it.
  3. Receiving a message via Facebook is contextually appropriate. When you receive an email, it shows up in your inbox alongside messages for work, bacn, and spam. With Facebook however, you’re there specifically for communication, so you’re in the right frame of mind to be receiving messages from others. And so far, there’s no spam.
  4. It works on your mobile phone. You can setup Facebook to send your messages to you via SMS. You can also send messages to others by prefixing your text message with “msg firstname lastname”. Sure you can do something similar with some email providers, but it’s never simple to setup, and you often need a smartphone of some kind.
  5. Profile information is just a click away. When you receive an email from someone, you see their name, address, and message. If you’re lucky, they’ll have a signature with other information, but don’t count on it! On Facebook, simply click on the person’s name and you can see all their relevant contact info, their status, friends, and more.

It’s often the simplest features that are the most useful!

4 thoughts on “Why Messaging via Facebook Rocks

  1. I still don’t trust it — all your messages are inside Facebook’s garden, and the sorting, searching, and filtering are even lamer than Gmail’s. I’ve seen too many sites of this sort vanish or morph after a time, and if like me you prefer to keep an archive, Facebook is not the way to go. There’s no way to get your mail OUT.

    But if you treat it entirely casually (as I do), and delete threads as soon as you and your correspondents are done with them, it’s fine.

  2. True Derek, there is no way to get messages out of Facebook (at least not that I know of, perhaps there is an API function to do it it). I’m not much of an organizer, even with email, so the lack of functionality for that isn’t much of an issue for me.

    I treat it casually. In fact, I don’t even bother deleting old threads.

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