Mark Zuckerberg unveiled on Monday a “modern messaging system” at a conference at the St. Regis in San Francisco, which merges SMS, IM, email, and Facebook messages into one portal. Zuckerberg talked about how high schoolers don’t like email because it’s “too formal” and about a year ago, Facebook wanted to overhaul the system to make it let’s say, less formal.
“This is not an email killer. This is a messaging experience that includes email as one part of it,” Zuckerberg said during the conference. It’s all about making communication simpler. “This is the way that the future should work,” he continued. He also says that the key to a modern messaging system should be seamless, informal, immediate, personal, simple, minimal and short.
Techcrunch.com says that to do that, Facebook has created three key things: Seamless messaging, conversation history, and a social inbox. Essentially, they’ve created a way to communicate no matter what format you want to use: email, chat, SMS — they’re all included. “People should share however they want to share,” engineer Andrew Bosworth said. All of this messaging is kept in a single social inbox. And all of your conversation history with people is kept.
Alongside the product on Facebook.com, the conversations will also work on mobile applications on smartphones as well as SMS capabilities for those who don’t have smartphones. Users can also take advantage of the new system by creating an @facebook.com email address, but it’s not necessary.
In order to make this work, “we had to completely rebuild the infrastructure that this system is build on,” Bosworth said at the conference. They’ve built hBase, which works alongside the open source community again. He also said that 15 engineers worked on this product, which is the most that have ever worked on a single Facebook project.