Facebook opened up their very closed email platform today by allowing users to add normal email addresses in a message. Previously you could only send messages to Facebook friends. Now you can add in others, too.
This is great news for people who use Facebook for most or all of their emailing. But for those of us that use normal email for our day to day business, getting Facebook messages is more of a problem than a feature. That’s because Facebook makes you log on to the site to read messages/emails from your friends. They’ll send a note to your normal email address when a new message comes in, but they make you log on to Facebook to actually read it.
I rarely do that, and have missed some important messages from people trying to contact me. As a next step, I think Facebook should offer to forward the actual messages to an outside email address (and/or provide a password protected RSS feed). Eventually Facebook should offer full POP or IMAP support for their email. They can still restrict it so that you can only receive messages from friends, but at least you could access it from your desktop or web based mail application.