Facebook Messages: A privacy nightmare or the future of messaging?

Last Monday Facebook announced a new messaging system. They say its a new evolution of Messages.

The new service combines SMS, chat, e-mail and Messages. You decide how you want to talk to your friends. Which ever form of communication you choose, it can all be managed from your Facebook account. You can decide from who you would like to receive information as well. If you don’t want someone to be able to sent you information you can just block them.

Facebook New Messaging System

It’s not e-mail!

To make it even easier for the user they are also providing an @facebook.com email address to every person on Facebook who wants one. This will enable people to share their messages with friends over email, whether they’re on Facebook or not.

Facebook did make clear that the new messaging system is not e-mail though, but more like a way of keeping a conversation across multiple platforms.

A Social Inbox for the next generation

Facebook sees it’s New Messages more like a Social Inbox that you can use to keep special messages forever. They compare it to the box of letters your grandmother has with letters from your grandfather. In a couple of years time the next generation will have their special messages in their Social Inbox.

The only difference being that your grandparents probably took the time to write each other long meaningful letters. Instead of the short quick ‘wazzup’ notes people write nowadays.

What about privacy?

The thing I’m wondering about most is, what about privacy? With al these online applications becoming more and more integrated a lot of your personal data is online. Google is already on route for world domination and it seems like Facebook is trying to dominate its part of the world as well…

With all the privacy issues Facebook has had the last couple of years I wonder what the impact will be for users when they start integrating more of their personal information on Facebook. What will Facebook do with this information?

Time will tell

Personally I think the new Faceook Messaging system has a lot of potential. To me, integration is the future. Being able to manage things in one place instead of 5 makes life easier. With the new messaging system Facebook is trying to integrate all the ways people use the sent each other messages. I like the fact that they are trying to integrate all different kinds of platforms, whether it’s Facebook, your mobile phone or e-mail. I also like the fact that they are not forcing your friends to join Facebook just so you can use the system.

The idea in itself sounds very intriguing to me, but I always have that nagging question ‘what about privacy’ in the back of my head.

If it’ll all work as Facebook planned though, I think the new Messaging system could be a threat to other online applications such as Twitter. Facebook let’s you share even more information and the new system could mean a new way for business to interact with their audience.

All-in-all I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Facebook Messages yet. I’m personally quite interested to see where all this is heading. It’s got potential, but than again, so did Google Wave

What’s your take on Facebook’s new messaging system? Let me know in the comments.