New FaceBook Messaging System, Hit or Miss?

On Monday, FaceBook’s new modern messaging system was selectively available by invitation only.  The reaction was mixed.  This new launch, named Project Titan, was being described as the “Gmail killer”, but Mark Zuckerberg claims it is simply aiming to simplify messaging and make it as efficient as possible.

The benefits to FaceBook as an organization are obvious: if users do begin user their “@facebook” email addresses, they will need to go to FaceBook each time they check their email and generate more traffic to the site.  Incorporating email to the site also targets an older audience with generally less interest in the social network aspect, but interest in conducting business and communication efficiently.

To summarize the features of Project Titan, the program really does contain more than just a user name which, by the way, is optional.  All users will be given the option to have an “@facebook” e-mail address, but can still utilize all of FaceBook’s features without it should they choose to opt out.  What it really seeks to deliver FaceBook users is seamless messaging by integrating text messages, instant messaging and emails.  This will essentially eliminate the users’ decisions of what technology to use when contacting their friends.

The program offers more control as far as who can contact whom.  There will be two in boxes, one for messages from friends and friends of friends, so that these messages can be prioritized and all other mail will be kept separately.  There will also be one thread for each friend so that your entire history with that friend can be found in one place including all messages exchanged.

The trial invitation-only launch has been the recipient of mixed reviews.  While some users really do find it to be convenient, the new system of messaging is being criticized for providing users with an email address that is unprofessional as well as being comparable to Google Wave, Google’s way of simplifying messages that ultimately failed.

What do you think?  Is Project Titan the new Gmail?  Is this a territory in which FaceBook does not belong?

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