New feature in Facebook: It's now online dating-optimized!

By | October 30, 2012

Inbox sorting into flirty vs. normal messages

I haven't visited Facebook in a while, but was surprised to find a new feature now. It is surprisingly accurate. If I click on Messages, the default view is 'Inbox'. But there's a second category next to it, 'Other'. Next to that, there's a 'More' dropdown containing 'Unread', 'Archived', and 'Spam'. So what's this 'Other' category on messages? Being curious, I clicked on it to find out. And tada: all the random 'sexy talk' messages that I hadn't seen before!

What the feature is supposed to do
I suspect that the true purpose of 'Other' is not intended to be the 'online dating filter' for Facebook. It's supposed to show group updates, and messages from people you don't know. And in that respect, it isn't actually such a bad idea. Only, the kind of messages it seems to collect are more like the sort of messages I'd expect to land in 'spam' together with the penis enlargement offers and notices from rich Nigerian relatives who can't spell instead.

15 thoughts on “New feature in Facebook: It's now online dating-optimized!

  1. Halfdan Reschat

    I don't really visit Facebook anymore so I can't say if the layout has changed, but the "other" inbox is at least a year old. Every few months it is brought up again in the blogosphere since it's hiding away important messages for some people and doesn't provide notifications as "normal" messages, which has caused huge problems for many people.

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  2. Arnav Kalra

    +Sophie Wrobel that means me and 90% of facebook users don't use it as intended. I was in 20 or so groups and only one of them was in any way useful (related to anime) , others were for sharing jokes and pissing off people.

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  3. Sophie Wrobel

    +Arnav Kalra I only have a few groups on facebook – one of them is actually useful and important, that's the Facebook Governance Group. All the Terms & Conditions changes get posted there in draft from first.

    I know that the German Salsa community organizes itself through a conglomerate of Facebook groups (the most important event organizers are all there) – so I'm pretty sure that there are 'useful' groups depending on how you use Facebook – but, as my screenshot already suggests, I obviously don't fit that profile.

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  4. Arnav Kalra

    +Sophie Wrobel what do you mean by useful groups on fb ? I am yet to see one. Trolling and laughter related groups are the only ones I ever saw. BTW I never got a dating related message, maybe because I am a guy.

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  5. Sophie Wrobel

    +Ethan Smith Suffice to say that this message falls in the same category as the rich Nigerian relative, in terms of how much harm that guy can inflict.

    If he'd taken time to actually look at my profile, or even worse socially engineer an unsuspecting friend to call me and communicate his marriage proposal… that would be something else.

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  6. Sophie Wrobel

    +Gurudatta Raut maybe it's called something else in English – in German, the interface says 'Nachrichten' which means 'Messages'.

    EDIT: It's the icon of the two speech bubbles. I'll be happy to correct the post if someone wants to tell me what the correct label is.

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  7. Sophie Wrobel

    +Arnav Kalra my interface is in German; I suspect the feature is there in English as well. I agree that the theory is sound. I'd assume that the feature would come across better if I actually used Facebook as intended, in which case I'd theoretically have more useful group updates than flirty messages.

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