Have you ever thought to yourself, “Wow, the fact that my grandmother doesn’t use Facebook chat makes my life impossibly complicated?” Yeah, nobody has. But apparently the creepy/genius engineers behind Facebook’s constant, endlessly confusing “improvements” have, because in the next few months they’ll be rolling out a new feature, designed to make communicating with Grandma that much simpler (watch the video in the link — grandmothers are mentioned more than once).
It’s a new version of Facebook Messages, and as far as I can tell, it will basically integrate the most common forms of internet-age communication — SMS, e-mail and chat — into one “seamless” system. The Messages inbox will be redesigned: they’re getting rid of subject lines (which is actually a pretty good move — the first five messages in my inbox right now are about “no subject”), creating what appears to be a Trash folder to hold all messages not from Friends or Friends-of-Friends (which I seriously hope includes all those stupid events that keep alerting me about things I would never in a million years go to), and making it possible to block messages from certain people (read: stalkers).
All that seems reasonable enough; it gets more complicated in the “seamless” idea. Basically, it starts with Facebook giving you an opt-in “username”@facebook.com email address, which will sync with whatever email server you use right now. You can email anyone from Facebook Messages using this system, and messages you receive will be sent to your email.
You can also choose to link up your cell phone and your Facebook account. Text “msg [firstname] [lastname] [your message here]” to 32665 (yup, that spells “FBOOK”), and they’ll get your text as a Facebook Message. Similarly, you can opt to get all the messages you receive sent to your phone as texts.
It’s official: you never have to get off Facebook ever again. No more clicking over to a different tab to check Gmail, or looking down at your phone for texts. Actually talking to a person face to face? What next, iPod minis are back? Srsly, Not even grandmothers “talk” anymore — Message your own right now; she’ll tell you I’m right.