SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook, closing in on signing up its 600 millionth user, is already the No. 1 social networking service in the world. Now it wants to become the largest and most important real-time messenger by combining the world's most-often-used digital media: SMS texting, email, chat, or regular Facebook messages.
Facebook Messages, which the company launched in invitation-only mode Nov. 15, also enables people to communicate with their friends using any connected device they want. The bottom line is this: A person using Facebook Messages can send one message on any device, using any of the four media noted above, to anyone else using the service who, likewise, can use any media and device.
The key problem that Facebook Messages aims to solve is this: With so many conversations being held on different messaging platforms -- including IMAP email, Web email, SMS texting, chat, and Facebook itself -- most personal communication becomes repeated and/or disconnected; therefore the time spent creating the content isn't used in an efficient manner.