Facebook is testing another tool for page administrators that at first glance looks like a reinstatement of something previously available: the ability to exchange private messages with members of the social network, with a couple of twists not available previously.
The social network had recently revoked page admins’ ability to send messages to individual users; this newest test feature enables pages to receive messages from individual users via a link on the page. The button also enables people who aren’t yet fans to send messages to the admin, which hadn’t been available in the previous incarnation of messaging for pages.
We Are Social Singapore and Wise both reported on the new feature, with the latter saying it has surfaced in Singapore and the former also reporting that private messaging for pages is not available everywhere yet.
For those pages included in the test, a new message button now appears at the top of the page. Clicking on it produces a dialog box that Facebook users — whether they are fans of the page or not — can access to send private messages to the page administrators.
Administrators will receive notifications under their admin menu that they have received private messages. Clicking on the link provides an overview of private messages they have received, after which they can reply privately, or respond to users’ comments on their walls. The notifications will appear with other general notifications for those navigating Facebook as a page.
The messages are formatted in the same way that messages between Facebook users appear and, from the user’s perspective, appear identical to messages they would receive from their friends.
We Are Social Singapore reported that there doesn’t seem to be a way for page administrators to initiate contact, other than by responding to users’ wall posts. The blog added that real-time chat is not supported, although that could occur at some point in the future.
Readers: Would you be more likely to engage with a Facebook page via private messaging?
Screen shots courtesy of We Are Social Singapore, Wise.