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I’m not seeing it yet — at least not in the Facebook messages I’ve gotten so far today — but Mike Arrington says that Facebook is now sending messages straight to you in your email, instead of making you click through to read them. This might seem like a small thing, but it is probably the single biggest irritation to me when using a social network such as Facebook, or Ning, or any one of a half dozen others that do the same thing.

What it says to me every time a social network does that is: “I know I could just send you the message, but I’m forcing you to click through because I’m desperate for the page views.” It’s a thumb in the eye every time you get one of those messages, and I can feel the irritation building as I click through like a sheep — knowing that when I respond, my friend will have to do exactly the same thing to read my reply. This change means more to me than allowing me to opt out of Beacon.

About the author

Mathew 2420 posts

I'm a Toronto-based senior writer with Fortune magazine, and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

9 Responses to “At last, Facebook messages via email”
  1. This change means more to me than allowing me to opt out of Beacon.

    You scare me. Not more than Beacon does mind you, but still…..

  2. that's because you are a little too flippant about the implications of beacon…. but yeah… it's a good addition (the messaging feature)

  3. that's because you are a little too flippant about the implications of beacon…. but yeah… it's a good addition (the messaging feature)

  4. I operate a fairly active forum site and unfortunately am planning to go the other way…

    Right now, the full message gets included within the email notification to the user.

    But every day, there are at least a few people who reply to those messages directly… but the “from” address is my default site address, so I end up receiving the messages instead of the intended recipients.

    The notification messages say the following twice:

    “Please do not reply to this email. You must go to the following page to reply to this private message:”

    , but it doesn't seem to help in some cases :)

    • I can see how that would be a pain, Clark — luckily, Facebook
      messages apparently go back to the original sender when you reply to
      them. And in the comments on my blog (such as this one), Disqus lets
      me respond to comments like yours by replying via e-mail, and my reply
      gets automatically posted as a comment.

  5. Now we just need to be able to actually respond to those messages directly from our e-mail!!

    Would proove very worthy at work or school.

  6. Now we just need to be able to actually respond to those messages directly from our e-mail!!

    Would proove very worthy at work or school.

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