Monday, 3 June 2013

Facebook Tests Private Messaging Option From The Home Status Box

In order to increase messaging rates on the site, Facebook is testing the option to send private messages from the status box on a user’s home page.

Facebook is currently testing the private message option with a small group of users. At the moment, private messaging is accessed either via the left-hand toolbar, or through a small icon on the top right of the page. Neither icons are very distinctive, meaning users are less likely to use the service.

According to multiple sources, users will be able to alternate between posting status updates and sending private messages to friends, supposedly via the drop down menu to the bottom left of the box which already contains the “Public”, “Friends”, “Only Me” and “Custom” recipient options.

However, the multi-functionality of the box could cause problems: users could accidently post private messages as status updates or send status updates as private messages. Presumably, Facebook will alter the appearance of the status box when in private messaging mode, just as it does when the “Only Me” option is switched on.

Facebook is competing with Google and Apple, among other brands, for top billing in the cross-platform messaging service stakes. Google has just incorporated all its messaging services into the new improved Hangouts feature, making all forms of messaging on the site and the app far more accessible.

Facebook are hoping that by making private messaging easier on the site, users will prefer the service over Apple’s and Google’s alternatives, hence bringing more traffic onto Facebook and increasing the likelihood of users being exposed to advertising.

Who do you think will win the cross-platform messaging war?     


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