Facebook launches integrated message platform

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Facebook launched a messaging system November 15, connecting e-mail, SMS and instant messaging chats and giving consumers the opportunity to open Facebook.com e-mail addresses.  

The social network will invite consumers to the service in the next few months.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said the platform's main goal is to “move to a real-time, immediate experience” for members. The social network also wants to create a next generation messaging system that is seamless, informal, simple and immediate, he said via Facebook Live, the social network's live streaming channel.

The platform has three components: Seamless Messaging, Conversation History and Social Inbox. Conversation History places all one-to-one communications in a single strand, including chat, e-mail or SMS.

Social Inbox prioritizes conversations for consumers. A Facebook member's inbox will only contain messages from friends and family. The service will sort other messages into a separate folder.

Andrew Bosworth, director of engineering at Facebook, said the platform is “modeled more on chat” than e-mail. He added that consumers won't receive e-mails from outside sources in their inboxes once they change their privacy settings.

“This is not an e-mail killer,” said Zuckerberg. “It's a messaging system and e-mail is included as a part of it.”

David Daniels, CEO of the Relevancy Group, an e-mail marketing consultancy, said the launch's biggest implication is that consumers may change their preferred e-mail addresses to the Facebook.com domain. Therefore, brands should give consumers the ability to easily change their e-mail addresses.

“They also need to begin promoting their fan pages,” he said. “A dedicated marketing campaign to drive this behavior is warranted. [Brands should] include links in the e-mail creative to update or change e-mail addresses.”

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