Facebook messaging roll-out: Titan or Titanic?

Facebook Project Titan Coverage

It’s not email! That’s according to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg as he announced Facebook’s new “messaging” application today. Unified messaging isn’t a new idea, others have failed with this in the past, but they didn’t have Facebook’s huge client base to roll it out to either.

He also made the case that this is not an email killer as has been claimed in some media hype, but he did suggest that it may well be the better way for younger people who are more accustomed to “real time” communications.

The basic goal is to make communications via this platform feel like a conversation and a no-brainer.

Right now it’s doesn’t support IMAP, but Facebook does plan to support that standard email protocol.

The new feature will start rolling out as invite only over the next few weeks.

You can request an invite from Facebook here!

The new service has 3 key features:

Seamless Messaging

The idea here is for people only to have to worry about the message and who they are sending it to. In other words, it doesn’t matter if the message is via SMS, email or IM — the platform doesn’t matter on the Facebook service.

Conversation History

Threading is confusing for most according to Facebook. Their idea is to sort messages as conversations between people so that you end up with a history of each of those conversations. Consider it a log book or even a e-scrapbook of your interactions.

Social Inbox

This is basically filtering depending on your choices — allowing you to organize your preferred or priority messages. This might sound familiar to Gmail’s Priority Inbox but, it’s true when Facebook makes the claim that they do have some more behavioral tracking data which makes the filtering that much more powerful and personal.

So what’s my take on all this?

It’s another way for them to open up more doors to advertisers to market to their membership. I appreciate the fact that Facebook wants to portray this as a noble attempt to make it easier to connect and communicate with friends. However, I believe this came out of that basic need to monetize Facebook and you do that by opening channels you can sell to potential advertisers. Sure they want to make the world a smaller, more connected place, but someone has to pay the bills some way.

Can Facebook really unify messaging across platforms such as mobile, social and email without most of their member’s heads exploding? If so, they’ve got a marketing channel to offer that may make all past mediums pale by comparison for flexibility, power and reach. It’s no slam dunk, but the game just got a whole lot more interesting.

As Loren McDonald points out in his blog today, the one certainty is that this development and the announcement of “Project Phoenix” from AOL email, assures us of  of email address changes and list churn.

What do you think?

Blog coverage

Facebook Messaging: So, what’s wrong with email?

Email Marketing Reports: Actually, Facebook changes everything (and nothing)

Blue Sky Factory: Facebook Messages: Email Marketing Analysis

Direct Mag: What You Need to Know About Facebook’s New Messaging Platform

Mashable: The New Facebook Messages: A Walkthrough [SCREENSHOTS]

Marketing Vox: 10 Ways for E-mail Marketers to Survive Facebook Messages

EmailBlog.eu: Facebook launches new multichannel Messages system

Loren McDonald of Silverpop: Are You Ready for a Flood of Email Address Changes?

Sendlabs: Staying Alive: Email Marketing Industry Still A-OK After Facebook Messaging Announcement

AllFacebook.com: Facebook Vs Gmail: Would They Switch? [Results]

Pure360: Facebook vs Google, AOL, Yahoo and everyone else

Splash Of The Titan Part 3 – Facebook’s New Email Offering

Blue Sky Factory: How to Prepare for Email Marketing’s Biggest Challenge Ever: Facebook Project Titan

AdvertisingAge: Facebook Email Move Challenges Google, Yahoo, Microsoft

Mashable: Facebook Announces New Messaging System: “It’s Not E-mail”

Tech Crunch: Facebook’s Modern Messaging System: Seamless, History, And A Social Inbox

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Meet the author:

Jeff Ginsberg

Jeff Ginsberg

20+ year email marketing veteran who wants to help NewBees BEEcome eMail Marketing Ninjas. Want to contribute to our blog? We are always looking for eMail Marketing Ninjas to come share their knowledge and help NewBees create and send better eMail messages.

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