The social network announced that it will phase out the “Other” inbox in a few days time.
Facebook users currently receive messages from people they are not friends with in the “Other” inbox, but that will soon change. The move has seen a mixed reaction from users.
Message Requests will alert users to messages from non-contacts
Among the chief concerns is that harassment and spam messages will be more visible. Under the new system, messages from non-contacts will arrive as “requests” which the user can choose to see or not.
According to Kleinman many users are not aware of the existence of the second inbox, which can only be accessed from Facebook via a browser. However now that all messages from unknown people will be sent as requests, they will arrive on the smartphone apps.
This will aid communication between members of public Facebook groups, where some messages sometimes get lost in the “Other” folder. Rebecca Smith owns a group for British bloggers, and thinks that the move will help administrators get in touch with new members.
“It means our messages won’t be missed and people can’t claim that they haven’t been spoken to,” she added. “Some people keep doing the same things over and over again that we’ve asked them not to because the messages we send go into their “others” inbox that they don’t check.”
Concerns raised over Facebook harassment
After the change was announced by David Marcus, Facebook’s vice president of messaging products, other users raised concerns about harassment. “This means women will get creepy messages directly in their inbox. They used to be able to ignore them as they went to the others folder,” wrote one.
“We truly want to make Messenger the place where you can find and privately connect with anyone you need to reach, but only be reached by the people you want to communicate with,” said Mr Marcus. “Now, the only thing you need to talk to virtually anyone in the world, is their name.”
For some users that might not necessarily be a good thing, although they can still choose to ignore the Message Requests that they receive. Facebook continues to update its platform, but some changes are proving more popular than others.