Facebook’s “Social Inbox” Could Be Causing You Missed Messages

Facebook “Social Inbox” Can Cause Missed Messages

Last November, Facebook began launching a new way of sorting user’s inbox messages, called “Social Inbox,” which resulted in the creation of the “Other” message folder. While it works like email “Spam” folder functionalities, it is marked “Other” and does not display a count of unread messages. You can find this folder directly below the Messages tab, but only after clicking on it.

“Other” messages can be found below Messages, after clicking

As Facebook explains:

“It seems wrong that an email message from your best friend gets sandwiched between a bill and a bank statement. It’s not that those other messages aren’t important, but one of them is more meaningful. With new Messages, your Inbox will only contain messages from your friends and their friends. All other messages will go into an Other folder where you can look at them separately.”

Facebook has taken it upon themselves to sort your messages on the platform so only “the messages that matter” show up under the Messages tab.  If your Facebook activities involved regularly sending or receiving messages from users who are not in your network, SEO Inc. recommends regularly checking “Other” messages to avoid missing important communication. This also goes for any users who rely on the horizontal toolbar message widget (found up top near the search bar), which fails to display anything related to the “Other” folder.

In a flurry of articles and Tweets since http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2011/12/facebook_s_other_messages_mail_you_are_probably_missing.html Slate drew attention to the issue last Friday, many professionals have only recently realized messages were landing in their “Other” folder. Most users will find this folder full of unwanted event invitations and spam. However, there is a chance meaningful communication has made its way into this folder. Unless you have been checking the “Other” folder periodically, there is a possibility you have neglected to respond to messages from someone outside of your current friend’s list.

This surely isn’t the first, nor the last time a tweak of Facebook’s continually changing interface will cause a bit of inconvenience. A new Facebook was announced at F8 and is expected to launch the new Facebook Timeline soon. For now, there are a few things Facebook users can proactively do to avoid missing potentially useful messages:

“Move to Messages”

Messages in this “Other” folder can be migrated individually into your main Message inbox where normal Facebook notifications will show. Click the “Actions” tab and at the very bottom is the option to “Move to Messages.” You will still have to check the “Other” folder for useful messages periodically.

Facebook Move Messages
“Move to Messages” found under “Actions” tab

Enable Email Notifications

Under the Notification Settings in your Facebook Account Settings is a box that determines email notification frequency. Once unclicked, the entire list of notifications becomes customizable. Under the very first “Facebook” option, click “Edit” and check the box “Sends you a message,” to start receiving email messages. The downside to opting for this email notification setting is if you receive a large volume of Messages on Facebook, it can become overwhelming. But if keeping abreast on all your messages is a top priority, this option will ensure you are notified for each message.

Facebook Email Notifications
Unclick box on email frequency for customized options

In light of the “Other” messages folder, keep in mind if you have sent a private Facebook message that has gone unanswered, there is a chance they were also put into this folder, and the recipient is unaware of its contents. Facebook should not be solely relied on for essential communications and SEO, Inc. recommends using multiple platforms for reaching potential clients, customers, and contacts effectively.

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