This morning, Facebook held a press conference to announce their anticipated new messaging platform. Mr. Zuckerberg himself continually insisted during the announcement that this new product is in fact not “email” but a more robust, modern messaging system. However, users will get a Facebook email address to use (Sorry Mark, that technically makes it email). Within this new platform, people can send and receive messages any way they like – through Facebook, SMS, or email. All of your messages with one person will be in one location, for all time. Your inbox will now include multiple folders for those you know on Facebook, those outside Facebook, and naturally all other junk.
Not announced at the press conference however was the fact that the new Facebook Messages system will also integrate with Microsoft’s web apps that are a part of the new Office 2010 suite. Users will be able to attach and view Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents easily with one click at Office.com or download them to edit in Office. This success of this new platform will definitely receive a boost from Facebook’s 400 million plus users, but that all depends on user trust. And this also doesn’t appear to threaten business communication either. Many companies ban Facebook because of productivity issues, so the addition of email and document attachments won’t really make managers think otherwise (there’s also no subject lines, cc, or bcc as with traditional email). But as a powerful yet simple way to communicate with friends, Facebook made huge strides today.