Last month we reported that MySpace was planning to launch a webmail service – a move that could instantly make it one of the web’s largest Email providers (provided a substantial portion of its users took advantage of the feature). Today we’ve received a number of tips that MySpace has introduced some new messaging features that indicate that the transition is well underway. Most notably, the site now allows users to send a message to multiple friends at once, as seen in the shot below.
The feature works as advertised: as users begin typing their friends’ names, an autocomplete window opens with a list of matches. Each picture in the ‘To’ line is a link to that user’s MySpace profile, which makes it easier to confirm that you’re messaging the right friend.
While the company wouldn’t comment on its webmail plans, MySpace has confirmed that the new feature launched today, and also detailed some of the other upgrades to the site’s messaging functionality. The site now offers an at-a-glance view of your sent messages so you can see if your friends have read them (frankly I find this feature to be a little creepy, but it’s not uncommon in standard Email clients). Users will also be able to attach video files to their outgoing messages.
Of course, while the site’s interface may be gradually moving towards that of most webmail clients, it is still missing one key feature: users don’t have a dedicated firstname.lastname@example.org Email address yet, so they can’t receive incoming mail. But as we noted last month, the company has started moving its corporate Email addresses from name@MySpace.com to the domain MySpace-inc.com, paving the way for users to occupy the name@MySpace.com addresses.
We should note that Facebook has also been slowly adding features to its messaging platform. While we haven’t heard anything directly related to a Facebook webmail application, the site clearly strives to be a central hub for social communication on the web, so it wouldn’t be surprising if it has similar aspirations (especially if MySpace’s experiment goes well).