Feeds

Facebook unveils 'next-gen' messaging system

'It's not email. It's everything'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Facebook has unveiled a "next-generation" messaging system for its social networking–obsessed users.

After speaking with some high schoolers during a Thanksgiving trip a couple of years ago — who told him that they rarely used email because it was "too slow" — Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg decided his social networking cum worldwide application platform needed a "modern" messaging system, one that's "seamless," "immediate," "personal," and "simple."

So he put his minions to work.

Today, more than a year later, Zuckerberg took the wraps off Facebook's new messaging system at a press event in downtown San Francisco, saying it provides "seamless integration across all the different ways people communicate," a single conversation history, and a "social inbox" that sorts messages according to "what you want most." The system is not an email service. It spans email as well as IM, text messages, and on-Facebook messages.

"The idea was that we would take conversation across all different mediums and weave them together," said Facebook director of engineering Andrew Bosworth. "The system is definitely not email." Bosworth — known as Boz — said that the service was modeled after chat. That said, as part of the service, Facebook is offering all users their own @facebook.com email address.

In essence, the company is integrating email with an on-Facebook real-time messaging setup. The system is built on Hbase, the Hadoop-y open source incarnation of Google's BigTable distributed database.

Prior to the event, the rumor was that Facebook would roll-out it's own email service — a kind of "Gmail killer" — and that it would somehow hook into Microsoft's online Office apps. "This is not an email killer," Zuckerberg said. "This is a messaging system that uses email as one part of it."

Zuckerberg said the system will be rolled out to Facebook users over the coming months. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?