Facebook Launches a Social Inbox for SMS, Email, IM, and Messages

Facebook’s live event today, did notdisappoint. Speculation of a Gmail Killer from Facebook has been making the rounds for a minute. While Facebook has launched what looks like an extremely useful method for communicating with your friends and colleagues, Mark Zuckerberg was careful to say that it is “not a Gmail killer.” The project, previously codenamed “Titan,” aims to be something simpler and more social. Zuckerberg went on to say that Gmail is a great product.

Yes, Facebook users will now get an @Facebook.com “email” address based on their current Facebook username, but this isn’t really email. They barely mentioned email throughout the presentation and IMAP integration with your existing email account is still in the works. Facebook is providing a seamless way to integrate your SMS, Email, IM, and Facebook messaging in one place. email is only one ingredient.

Today I’m excited to announce the next evolution of Messages. You decide how you want to talk to your friends: via SMS, chat, email or Messages. They will receive your message through whatever medium or device is convenient for them, and you can both have a conversation in real time. You shouldn’t have to remember who prefers IM over email or worry about which technology to use. Simply choose their name and type a message.

Your Social Inbox is modeled after chat. Rather than entering a subject line and hitting a send button, you just type your message and hit ENTER. Your inbox isn’t a list of random messages or threads, but simply a list of your actual friends and what you’ve discussed.

Relatively soon, we’ll probably all stop using arbitrary ten digit numbers and bizarre sequences of characters to contact each other. We will just select friends by name and be able to share with them instantly. We aren’t there yet, but the changes today are a small first step.

This doesn’t seem to be the exciting and dominating email service that many tech bloggers were drooling over, but more of a useful tool for organizing your social world. A messaging system that works along with your standard email account to help you keep everything in order.

by rahsheen