Facebook has revealed its coming e-mail service, Project Titan, which the company sees as the "modern messaging system" that could possibly takeover the Internet communication model.
In an unsurprising turn of events, Facebook unveiled its “modern messaging system” this morning. As expected, Project Titan will indeed compete with Gmail and other e-mail providers with the option of an @facebook.com domain, but Facebook hopes it will eventually revolutionize the way people use the Internet to communicate – emphasis on eventually.
Seamless Messaging, Conversation History, and Social Inbox
These are the three principles the message system is built around. Seamless messaging will combine all the various ways you communicate into one place – SMS, chat, e-mail, Facebook IM, etc. You can archive or completely delete these threads at any time. Conversation History will now be one thread – no multiple threads over different applications. This works to show you your conversation with each individual person over time. The Social Inbox works as a spam filter. It’s a tiered system, ranking message importance by the amount you interact with another Facebook user. Your list of priority contacts are automatically created.
How it works
So how will Facebook decide what type of message to send to a person? While it was difficult to get a concrete answer (other than that this is what it will test on its first users in the months to come), it seems like it will use whatever is quickest. For instance, if a user sends an e-mail to another, who happens to be on Facebook, he’ll receive a Facebook IM. Still, the service will recognize users’ messaging preferences and defer to those. This system is called the Policy Engine, and aims to “try and make it so people don’t have to think about this stuff,” so that all you need is a “message and a person.”
Yes, users will now have the option of a Facebook e-mail address. The interface looks extremely similar to Outlook, and will allow attachments.
Don’t expect to see any changes tomorrow. Facebook will slowly roll out its new messaging system, starting out as invite only and using feedback to finalize the project over the coming months.