Facebook Messages

Uploaded by theofficialfacebook on 15.11.2010

A little over a year ago we started looking at ways to improve our facebok messages product,
and we realized pretty quickly that the problems that we faced were bigger than just facebook.
A lot of sharing should be simpler than it is.
[A person and a message] When I want to reach out to my cousin Danny,
I have to use text message because he just graduated high school and that's all he really
My grandmother she only uses email. I can't send her a Facebook message and expect her
to get back to me.
I'm keeping this lookup table in my head of how to reach out to each person. Why isn't
this easier, why don't all these technologies work together. All you should need to send
someone a message, is the person and the message and that's it.
[a conversation] People should share however they want to share.
And if they want to connect via email, they should be able to do that. So we're giving
every user at Facebook the option of getting an @Facebook email address. This product isn't
email, but it allows people who do use email to connect with the rest of us.
We've modeled this entire system after chat. You know there's no subject lines, there's
no cc, no there's no bcc. When you press the enter key it sends your message right away
in real-time. We want this to feel like a conversation among friends. So when you come
back to your computer or your phone, you should be able to pick up right where you left off.
[The social inbox] It's always seemed like a problem to me, that
when I look at my email occasionally I see a message from my mother sandwiched between
a bank statement and a bill. We should be able to do better than that. So we created
the Social Inbox. When you log into Facebook, and look at your messages all you're going
to see by default are messages from your friends and their friends. And that's it.
[This is not email] Historically, once you give out your email
address or phone number it's just a matter of time before it winds up in the hands of
the wrong person. And your only options at that point are to change it or live with the
compromise. We believe people should have control of what gets delivered to your inbox,
not matter what the medium. So with the new Facebook Messages, if you change your privacy
settings such that only friends can send you messages, then we'll actually bounce emails
from anyone who's not your friend.
By default, the inbox only shows messages from your friends and their friends. But if
grandmother who only uses email sends you a message and it finds its way into the Other
folder, you can always promote it into your Inbox. From then on your conversations with
her will be front and center. And, of course, you can block anyone or any email from sending
you messages. Between this and your privacy settings, it's like your own personal Do Not
Email list.
[Social Context] The most important part of messages is context.
You know that email is organized by subject lines. When we looked at the subject lines
for Facebook Messages, the top three were 'No Subject'  'Hi' and 'Yo'. That's not
a great way to organize conversations.
We decided to organize conversations around people, not subject. It also made sense to
bring together all the conversations you've ever had with one person into a single thread.
Whether those happen in chat or sms or email, those all now live in one place. If you want
to reach out to your friend via text and they want to respond via email, that's possible.
If you want to use chat while they're using Facebook messages, that'll work too. And all
those communications will all live in one conversation.
Imagine you had the entire history of your conversations with your boyfriend or your
girlfriend. I mean everything from, 'Hey do you want to get coffee later,' to 'you've
got to pick up the kids tonight at soccer practice.' My grandmother had that. It was
a box letters written by my grandfather from when they were dating. That kids of thing
is increasingly rare. And I'm left to ask, 'where is my box of letters.' It's locked
up on a phone, it's locked up in email, it's not in one place. Until now.