You know that “Other” inbox on Facebook, the one whose messages you never notice and are mostly spam? Well, it’s going away, Facebook said on Tuesday.
Instead, Facebook (FB) is replacing it with what it calls “Message Requests,” which will appear at the top of your Messenger app on mobile. Messages from your Facebook friends or people you’ve already exchanged messages with will go directly to your normal inbox, while everything else will come in as a request. The idea is to give people a way to show that they want to contact you but without any obligation on your part. All they need is your name to find and send you a message. You can view the original request, which includes some basic information about the person such as their name, location, and mutual friends without them knowing, and choose to respond or filter it out.
With this new update, Facebook is walking a fine line between simplifying new connections on its social network and making people more vulnerable to being contacted by folks they’re not interested in. True, it could help surface some important messages that would normally go unnoticed, but it can also turn into an additional way for people to receive unwanted messages that would otherwise remain hidden in that other inbox.