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What is Facebook Messages?

What you need to know about Facebook's 'social inbox'

Back in November 2010, Facebook announced plans for a 'social inbox' – a place that would serve as a hub for all communications that people use online or via mobile phones, ranging from text messages and chat messages to email messages, too. As Facebook begins releasing Message to more and more users, we take a look at what you need to know before you use the service.

Turning on text messaging

When you sign up for a Facebook email address, you're also prompted to turn on text messaging. You'll be asked for your country and your mobile carrier, then to text the letter 'F' to 32665 (FBOOK). When you receive a confirmation code, enter it in the space provided. Be wary that the 'Add this phone number to my profile' box is automatically checked, so be sure to uncheck it if you don't want that information public. But before you choose to add your mobile number, here are a few things to consider.

Once you turn on text messaging, the texts you exchange with friends are incorporated into your conversations along with your message and chat history. Friends can check the 'Send to Phone' option when they send you messages. If they do, their message will be sent to your phone, and a copy will remain in your Messages inbox as part of the conversation. If you reply to the message via text, your response will also appear in your Messages inbox.

To send a new message to a friend via text, use the following format: enter 32665 as the mobile number, then 'msg (person's name) (and your message text)'.

Set your privacy control
If you turn on text messaging, visit your settings to preview and change permissions. Do this by visiting Account Settings > Notifications. Here you can check and uncheck whether you receive texts when someone sends you a message, adds you as a friend, posts on your wall and more.

See also: Tips and tricks to fix Facebook

  1. Take a tour round Facebook's 'social inbox'
  2. Getting started
  3. Navigate the interface
  4. Turning on text messaging

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