Update: The global launch of Facebook’s “Message Requests” is reported to occur gradually, which means it might take a few days until the update with the new feature reaches all users.
Phone numbers are both a blessing and a curse. Once someone has yours, there’s little you can do to stop them from calling or texting you. But if you don’t have someone’s random digits, you won’t be able to contact them – and that can be very frustrating when you’re trying to get in touch with that hot guy you flirted with at the Halloween party.
- Facebook Messenger has axed the “Other Inbox”
- “Message Requests” started rolling globally today, Oct. 28
- The new feature trades “privacy by obscurity” for “openness with control”
- The aim is to reduce the number of missed connections
But here comes Facebook Messenger to the rescue with a solution born from the ashes of what is probably the least used product the social network has ever created. Say goodbye to the dysfunctional “Other Inbox,” that feature that you have accessed so rarely that you forgot it exists.
“Other” is where Facebook messages went to die if they were sent by people you’re not connected with on the network. It was such an obscure feature that Facebook didn’t even bother to make it available from its native mobile app. But there will be no more missed connections with Facebook’s “Message Requests”, which starts rolling out today.
Just like Friend Requests, the revamped message center allows anyone to contact you, provided they have your name, but luckily, Facebook has also given you control over whether they can contact you again. If a non-friend sends you a message, it will go at the top of your Messenger on mobile or in the Messages tab on web.
From there on, it’s up to you whether the conversation goes on. In addition to the sender’s name, Facebook will also display some of their public info, such as city, mutual friends. Fortunately, your choice of ignoring a message request won’t be revealed to the other user; the messages will be hidden in the Filtered Requests and marked as spam.
According to Tony Leach, Messenger’s Product Manager on Message Requests, “phone numbers are kind of a relic of the ’50s.” Instead of insisting on exchanging phone numbers, why not allow people to connect simply by knowing each other’s names?
After a failed attempt to connect your Facebook account to your email address back in 2010, Facebook found another fix for the dungeon the “Other” feature had become, a way to see critical messages from non-friends without mixing them with those you receive from your friends.
Image Source: Techspective