Facebook has released a very important update to its Messenger app, thus making it much easier to contact people just by knowing their name. Facebook helps you be protected from persons you don’t know, so that’s why prior to this update, messages from unknown persons showed up in a folder next to your inbox labelled ‘other.’ However, this feature was available only on the desktop platform.
With the new Message Requests for Messenger feature, when someone sends you a message who isn’t at least a friend of a friend or has your phone number, it will show up as a ‘message request,’ giving you the option to accept or ignore it. David Marcus, Vice President of Messaging Products at Facebook, was the first to break the news, saying the following:
“Forget phone numbers! Today, we’re excited to start rolling out Message Requests for Messenger. Now, the only thing you need to talk to virtually anyone in the world, is their name. As a result of these changes, we’re removing the “Other Folder” that was only accessible from the web, and are enabling you to accept or ignore new requests without the requestor knowing you’ve read their message.”
Thus, if you’re friends on Facebook with the person that’s sending you the message, or if you have each other’s contact info in your phone and have these synced, or if you have an existing open thread, then the new messages from that sender will be routed to your inbox. Everything else, according to Marcus, will now be a message request. He also added that Facebook is continuously improving their ways of removing spam attempts.
See how he stresses out in the beginning – forget phone numbers, which shows that Facebook is dead serious about improving how we communicate with each other. Marcus also said that “while this may seem like a small change, it’s actually a foundational development.” This is a more invasive way, of course, but it gives you the option to decide whether you want to communicate with that person or not.