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When I logged into Facebook tonight (around 9:15 PM), I was prompted to upgrade to the new Facebook Messages. They’ve been spreading out the invites to this over the last few days, and it’ll continue over some period of time, so I wanted to show you what you’ll get when you get the option!

If you recall, in November, Facebook held a press conference to announce their plans for a more integrated platform. The idea is to allow you to see your messages, your chats, even text messages sent through the Facebook system, all in one place. See all that content ON Facebook, of course, where else? Let’s take a look at what you’ll get when you upgrade to Facebook Messages:

First up, the option to upgrade. Facebook explains that you’ll get your messages, chats and texts all in one place.

Once you upgrade, you get the chance to activate your Facebook email address. You don’t get to choose – your username becomes the first part of your email address, so it’ll look like this: username@facebook.com

To be clear, someone can use your new email address – username@facebook.com FROM their regular mail client and still get a message to you. It works just as any other email address, with the exception that I don’t see the ability to set it up via POP or IMAP to access in your regular mail client. Hmm, I wonder why… :) This will definitely become a major competitor for Gmail.

Once you’ve activated your Facebook email address, you can move on to the next step and choose if you want to turn on your text messages. People will be able to send you messages through SMS if you turn this feature on. Of course, standard rates apply, but Facebook doesn’t charge you anything extra.

The third stop is to activate your chat. You’ll see this in the same area as messages and text messages.

Now you’re good to go! Choose “Messages” in the left column, and you’ll see everything Facebook thinks is a priority in one place. Messages that aren’t from friends will go to the “Other” box. This type of feature can always take a little getting used to, as the computer “smart” sorting isn’t always correct.

A couple things to note:

The Quick Reply box has changed a bit. It’s much tinier and doesn’t expand when you click inside the box. The “Quick Reply mode” is automatically turned on, so when you hit enter, you’re going to send whatever partial message you’ve typed. I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of paragraphs, so I’ve already sent a few partial messages in only 15 minutes of playing with Facebook Messages!

Definitely uncheck that Quick Reply Mode box unless you’re the kind of person who only types a few words in each message, and don’t want to use paragraphs!

You’ll also notice in the above screenshot that you can send it via text message. If that user hasn’t activated her text messages, it’ll tell you so, but allow you to “encourage her to activate it”. You can also send an attachment, or open up your webcam and take a picture or video to send.

I tend to prefer a little separation in my various messages, so I’m not sure I’ll be loving this new feature, BUT having said that, I can totally see many of you loving it and using it.

And… I know a lot of you will be bringing this up in the comments and on Twitter and Facebook, so let’s discuss it. Facebook wants you to use them for ALL your content – email, chat and SMS. That’s no different than any other company, but it certainly brings up privacy issues as well as just purely the scare factor of ALL your messages being in one place, with one provider. What if someone actually outdoes Facebook? Hard to believe, I know! But it’s possible.

What are your thoughts? Do you have it yet, and if so, do you like it?

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About The Author

Avatar of Cali Lewis

Host of GeekBeat.TV - Cali has been using new media and podcasts to talk about her passion - technology, gadgets and science - since 2005. Find out more about her at www.geekbeat.tv/about or on Cali's Google Profile.

26 Responses

  1. sarah

    It’s f*&%^$ terrible. I want to be able to delete individual messages I send or receive without deleting everything ever exchanged between me and someone. And I really don’t want to see every message ever sent between me and another when I’m sending them a new message. And if it’s OPTIONAL it should be reversible once I’ve realized that I freakin’ hate it, and as of now, it isn’t. I don’t want all my messages in the same place. I want to organize things as I want them. That means separate messages. Urgh.

  2. rose

    i don’t know how to upgrade this new stuff for quick reply mode can some one helps me on this please

  3. ashley yauger

    i hate it, ihad activatedit, then deactivated it, but now in my message section there is box 4 me 2 reactivate it, and i cant get to my sent messages. i really hate it, sorry. please put me back to original

  4. saravanan

    guys this new system is a total mess
    not like the previous versions please find the solution for this
    the fb admin have not replied which i have asked for the past one week
    please get the hell out of this

  5. Lochlan Broughton

    I liked automatically getting text messages when someone sent me a FB message. now it means that to get a text friends will actually have to click on the also send as text button, which im sure many people will forget, or not bother to do. And now i have to go back to constantly checking FB for new messages (i get alot of FB messages all the time).

    cant say i like the new upgrade

  6. Myrtle K.

    take me back to the old message systm i do not like the upgrade it is ridiculous

  7. Thapelo Plalai

    hw do i undo the message upgrade thing, i did it and my inbox is messed with chat messages , i want to go back , HOW DO I DO THAT?Y IS IT THAT THERE IS NO UNDO BUTTON?

  8. shadi

    I want my messaging back to the way it was. I don’t like the new updated message . How can I go back to the original??????

  9. gowhar

    plzzz get me out of it..i am fed up of this system….help me out..i want to undo this…plz plz plz quickly :(..follow my profilehttp://www.facebook.com/gowhar0fredie

  10. Deidre West

    Please share how to undo this nycdelta22@yahoo.com. I REALLY DON’T LIKE IT! I want to just be able to click all and delete and unfortunately this new format does not give you an option to do that.

  11. Sandra

    I want my messaging back to the way it was. I don’t like the new updated message crap. How can I go back to the original???

    • Marti

      I want out of it also. after I think I have deleted a conversation, I go to messages and there it is again, VERY DANGEROUS!!!!! Please find out how to get out of it.

  12. Joe Taylor Jr.

    Here’s the biggest shift I’d have to make if this were going to become my main communication platform:

    The interface takes me out of the e-mail routine I’ve used for twenty years: splitting up conversations by topic. Instead, every time I’m in a conversation with someone, I’m seeing ALL of my conversations with them. So, it’s like text messaging that never forgets. If I’m juggling a few different thoughts with a few different people, I now have to look at that differently than I would if I could keep those under different threads in my e-mail.

    At the same time, I definitely notice more of my clients and contacts leaving subject lines blank or just using something like “Hey.”

    I wouldn’t necessarily be inclined to use Facebook messaging, except until my clients start expecting/demanding that I work with them on their choice of platform. We’ll have to see how this gets adopted by mainstream users.

  13. Jared

    I don’t see how this is any different than any of the other web based email providers currently available. And as previously mentioned, the lack of IMAP or POP3 support makes Facebook email seem antiquated. I’m going to opt out of this one.

  14. Avatar of Cali Lewis
    Cali Lewis

    A couple more things:

    1) @A554551N4710N on Twitter says if you hold down shift while pressing the enter button, it’ll allow you to enter paragraphs, rather than send the message. That’s useful!

    2) If you have the Facebook iPhone App, and keep notifications on, you don’t need the SMS notifications, unless you really want to see them listed visually with all the other stuff inside Facebook.

  15. Roger

    I don’t want another email address, so I’ll opt out on this change. It will take time for the mobile clients to jump on board, anyway.

  16. John Smith

    Unless they offer IMAP or POP3, I’m not going to use it for my email. Even then it’ll just be forwarding messages. I’ve already got an email account that gives me much better control (gmail).

    Given facebook’s privacy track record, you’d have to be crazy to trust them with personal information.

  17. Dave Wright

    I don’t particularly want another email address. I have been using Hotmail since before Microsoft bought it: no AOL then, and no Gmail now. At this point, I don’t see what else you would get that you don’t have now, especially chat.

  18. Phil

    if it means more ways for people to pester me on there I don’t want it.