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Using Facebook for All Your Messaging

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Facebook is all about social networking, and social networking is all about communicating with friends, family, and colleagues. Facebook’s new Messages feature consolidates all your private messages in one place — email, chat, and mobile text messages. Learn more about Messages and how to use it in this article by Michael Miller, author of Facebook for Grown-Ups.
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Facebook’s new Messages feature consolidates all your private messages on the social network, and adds a personal @facebook.com email address, to boot. How does Messages work, and why should you use it? Read on to learn more.

Private Messaging on Facebook, All in One Place

Facebook has always offered a mix of public and private messaging. Public messages come in the form of status updates; private messages include both proprietary email-like messages and one-on-one instant messaging (what Facebook calls Chat), as well as private updates written on a friend’s wall.

Until recently, all these messaging features functioned independently; you didn’t mix email messages with wall postings or chats. But that changes with Facebook’s new Messages feature, which consolidates all private messages in a single place.

Messages is the central hub for all your private messaging on the Facebook network. Every private communication you receive or take part in is archived here—private messages from your Facebook friends, chat sessions, even emails sent to your new @facebook.com address (which is also a new feature of Messages). These messages, no matter the type, are organized by sender, so you can view all your communications with specific friends at a glance.

Messages also lets you easily send messages to Facebook friends. You have the choice of sending messages via Facebook private message, Facebook chat, email, or SMS mobile phone text messaging. With Messages, it’s the message that’s important, not the medium.

Since Messages sorts all communications by user, you create an ongoing archive of all your conversations with each of your friends. It’s a lifelong conversational history, so you’ll always know what you’ve talked about, even when your memory fails you.

The Messages feature is slowly rolling out across Facebook’s user base. If you don’t have it yet look for your invitation to Messages in your inbox soon!

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