Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Facebook Introduces “Next Generation Messaging System”

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook Inc. on Monday introduces a “next generation messaging system” that will merge texts, online chats, and emails into one central hub.

Facebook began to offer a few thousand U.S. members an e-mail address that consists of their user name followed by @facebook.com. The new service is seen as offering an alternative to Gmail.

Ahead of the announcement, it was speculated that Facebook would unveil a “Gmail killer,” a reference to Google’s popular e-mail service. However, Facebook said traditional email is too slow and cumbersome and needs to step into the modern world of messaging.

During the conference at San Francisco, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said, “This is not an email killer…Maybe we can help push the way people do messaging more towards this simple, real time, immediate personal experience. Email is still really important to a lot of people. We think this simple messaging is how people will shift their communication.”

Reacting to the notion that Facebook’s new product would be most crippling for Gmail, Mr Zuckerberg said, “In reality they have a great product….We don’t expect anyone to wake up tomorrow and say ‘I’m going to shut down my Yahoo Mail or Gmail account.  Maybe one day, six months, a year, two years out people will start to say this is how the future should work.”

The new Facebook product would enable users the view for messages from Facebook friends and friends of friend. Members will also be able to access privacy controls to block unwanted messages.

The company will also bar software developers from using Facebook messages to contact members without their explicit permission. It will enable users to send messages to traditional e-mail services such as Google’s Gmail or Yahoo Mail. However, unlike other e-mail services, Facebook messages don’t have subject lines.

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