Live-Blogging Facebook’s Event in San Francisco — Email Product Is Here

The rumors about a Facebook email product have crescendoed in the last week, ahead of a Facebook press event happening today in San Francisco — and we’re here, live-blogging it.

Will it be a full-featured email service of some sort, or just a partial upgrade to its existing Message system? See our previous coverage of what we and others have heard, what the product might look like, and what the results might be for more.

The answer, as you can read below, is some of both. Facebook has created a revamped Message Inbox that combines email, text messaging, instant messaging and its existing service to create what it views as a new form of one-to-one communication. Our product overview is here, and our analysis of how the product can do things like spam is here.

The following is paraphrased in some parts.

Live Blog

9:59 Mark Zuckerbeg has taken the stage.

Talking to high schooler — email is too slow, they complained. It’s too formal, the weight and the friction, having to think of an address of a person. Think of a subject line. Write “hey mom” at the top to introduce it. Write “Love, Mark” at the end. What do they use?

“We use SMS and Facebook,” the high schoolers tell Mark.

“How do you find out?”

“We’re already on Facebook.”

“Oh, that’s good.”

They’re using much simpler forms, lighter weight. Built handful of products for modern messaging system.

Around 350 million people are using messaging on Facebook, because it’s a really simple system.

There are more than 4 billion messages sent every day through the Facebook system — messages, IMs, private, private sharing that goes on in the service. How people are social, sharing things. Publicly, everyone in their community.

Vast majority is one to one between two people. Not Pages or anything, but one to one, very simple communication.

We tried to graph out.

We tried to make other features stable, faster.

10:05 What we think the problem space is. Modern messaging system won’t be email. Bunch of characteristics to it.

Seamless integration across all the ways that you interact with technology. All the different channels that you might want to use — IM. Informal. Having formal adds cognitive load, people don’t want to share quite as much.

Immediate. Real-time communication like IM and some SMS.

Personal. SMS is high signal to noise. Very likely someone who you care about. Email, there’s a ton of stuff in there.

Simple. We should take features away, not add.

Short. Make it so they can share in shorter bursts.

These are some of the characteristics we should cover today.

1. Seamless messaging.

You can have .com messages, but not primary way.

Goal is to make it so that we can seamlessly integrate.

2. Conversation History

Spreading model — archaic. Subjects, threads. In real life, you have a conversation with them. Our view is that a lot of the more modern communication vehicles that people are using.

Make it super simple. IMs, emails, messages, go into that. Five years from now, a full rich history. Friends, things around you.

3. Social Inbox

Really good filtering to only show what you care about. Sophisticated. Really good at getting rid of real junk. Lots of different classes of junk. Really difficult for you to know if you should care about what they have to say.

People have acknowledged white lists — but it hasn’t really been practical to do that.

10:10 You get messages. Social inbox.

Really high default experiences for you. Not junk. Really compelling experience.

These are the three things that we think create a modern messaging system.

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