Just over a week ago, I read a column from the ineffable Cory Doctorow in InformationWeek rightly blasting Facebook for (among other things) the way it notifies you about messages from others:
The clue is in the steady stream of emails you get from Facebook: “So-and-so has sent you a message.” Yeah, what is it? Facebook isn’t telling — you have to visit Facebook to find out, generate a banner impression, and read and write your messages using the halt-and-lame Facebook interface — Cory Doctorow
It seems Facebook might have heard him loud and clear. This morning, I noticed a subtle, but important change in the email I got regarding a wall post to my profile. It contained, in addition to the link to the site, the full text of the wall post! It didn’t even register at first–my mind filed it away in the “email from friend” category, and I automatically clicked Reply. When the reply window popped up, it was automatically addressed, not to Facebook, but to the honest-to-goodness email address of the friend who posted on my wall!
For years I too have found the Facebook messaging system slow and obnoxious, but it seems Facebook has finally relented and made it straightforward to go from their closed-off system to the familiar, comfy, and ubiquitous system of straight-up email. Can’t say for sure if it works for messages as well as wall posts, but it made my morning, anyway.