After years of being ignored by many and vilified by some, Facebook had finally gotten rid of one of its most useless and perplexing features — the “Other” inbox.
News that the social media giant is finally scrapping the feature has probably caught a lot of people by surprise, as they don’t even know that there was another inbox.
Now its easier to talk to people you&39;re not friends with on Facebook Messenger https://t.co/H8oxoa8QYh
— Mashable (@mashable) October 27, 2015
Facebook’s “other inbox” is where messages from people you don’t know end up; messages from a friend’s friend or someone who isn’t on your friends list.
But what was frustrating about the feature was that you don’t get a notification that a message just came in that folder. Even worse, this “other inbox” can’t be accessed from Facebook’s mobile app. This is why we have all these stories of important messages from estranged friends or long-lost relatives left unread for years because they ended in the “other inbox.”
One writer even recounted how someone messaged him about his lost wallet and he didn’t see the message for weeks. But Facebook plans to change all that with a new function it has dubbed “Message Requests.” The social media site claims that this new Facebook messenger tool will do away with the need for phone numbers and will expand on Messenger, its standalone chat app.
Facebook is killing off the notorious “Other” inbox in favor of a revamped messaging feature https://t.co/WRb8OccFGc
— Nieman Lab (@NiemanLab) October 27, 2015
With this recently rolled out tool, anyone who knows your name can send you a message. The message request will then pop up at the top, where Facebook users will see a preview of the message and the name of the sender, along with an option to “Accept” or “Ignore” the message.
This new Facebook Messenger feature gives you control over whether that person can contact you again or not. Plus, the sender won’t know whether you have read the message or not.
The feature will also be available on the standalone Messenger’s mobile app.
One of Facebook’s engineers, David Marcus, explained it succinctly and said that messages from people who are your friends on Facebook, or those you have an existing messenger thread, with will go directly to one’s inbox. But “everything else will now be a message request.”
— Financial Times (@FT) October 26, 2015
People are already seeing the benefits of this feature, as one can now send a message to someone without having to be friends with them on Facebook, like a contractor talking to a client.
Aside from this change, which Marcus described as a “foundational development,” the Facebook Messenger will continue to get new features as the company continues to look for ways to improve the way we communicate with others.
The company is also working on making Facebook Messenger an app that is distinct and separate from Facebook. In time, the Messenger app might even be a place where Facebook users can shop with the help of an artificial intelligence assistant.
[Image via Wikipedia]