How Facebook's New Platform Changes Users' Email

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks e-mail is a slow, archaic way to communicate; he says e-mail will be only 'part' of the future of communication.


Today, Facebook unveiled what it's calling a "modern messaging system" which aims to make digital communication "seamless, informal, immediate, personal."

Facebook will give its users email addresses, but that's not what makes this a big deal—what makes this really different is the fact that it brings together all users' communications across e-mail, Instant Messaging, SMS, and Facebook messages.

Until now various communication streams have been separate. But now text messages, emails, and IMs between two people can all be part of the same conversation stream through the Facebook interface. If you want to send emails and your friend wants to send texts, Facebook's new messaging system makes that possible.

That leads to the second part of this announcement: conversation history track interactions with different people. You won't have to look to one place for your email dialogue and another for your texts—it's all in one place.

Part three of the announcement: a social inbox, which filters your messages based on your friends. This makes sense- Facebook knows who your family members and significant others are, and it can prioritize them accordingly.

Today's news will pose competition for Google's Gmail, which recently started rolling out "priority inbox," to prioritize more important emails based on their communication history.

Zuckerberg says he thinks Gmail is a great product, but this product works with Gmail. He made a point not to speak negatively about Google, but he said he just thinks a simpler integrated system, which e-mail is one part of, makes more sense.

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