Facebook is launching a new feature for Messenger called Message Requests, that makes it easier for people to receive (or ignore) messages from people they aren't friends with, reports the digital media website Mashable.
Previously, messages that were sent by people who weren't friends (or friends of friends) were relegated to the "Other" inbox, a separate section within the messages tab on Facebook's website. The messages were easy to miss since new messages routed to the "other" section didn't surface in notifications. (Users also had the option of paying $1 to bypass the "Other" section.)
With Message Requests, which is rolling out over the next several days, Facebook is streamlining how these types of messages are handled. Messages that previously would have been sent to "Other" will now appear within Messenger as a message request. Users can read the message and choose whether or not they want to respond without the other person knowing.
"Now, the only thing you need to talk to virtually anyone in the world, is their name," writes David Marcus, who heads up Messenger at Facebook. In his Facebook post, Marcus notes that the new feature will only apply to new messages from people you don't already know. Messages from Facebook friends, friends who have your number saved in their phone and those with whom you've already exchanged messages with, will still go straight to your normal inbox.
Calling it a "foundational change" Marcus hints that there's much more to come from the Messenger team in the months ahead as they "continue to improve ways to find the people you want to communicate with."