Facebook is killing one of its worst features: The “Other Folder” of the Messages inbox. One of the reasons why the Other inbox was so bad was that a lot of people didn’t know it existed.
It contained messages from people you’re not friends with. But because it only showed up on desktop, not mobile, and you didn’t get notifications for these messages, it was easy to miss.
My Other inbox was almost entirely spam—another reason why the feature stank—but I also once had someone message me after I lost my wallet. Because I rarely checked the Other folder, it took me more than a week—and a lot of panicking—before I found the message.
No more, though.
Facebook has decided to get rid of the Other folder in favor of new “Message Requests,” Messenger boss David Marcus said in a post on Facebook.
Now, someone will only be able to message you if you’re Facebook friends, you have an existing thread, or if you’ve both synced your smartphones contact lists to Facebook and you each have each other’s numbers.
If a stranger wants to message you, you’ll get a message request from them in your regular inbox that you can either accept or ignore. Facebook also says that it will continue to “ruthlessly combat” spam messages, and you won’t get requests from people the company thinks are fake.
This switch follows Facebook’s decision in June to let people sign up for Messenger without having a Facebook account.
“While this may seem like a small change, it’s actually a foundational development,” Marcus writes. “Look for more in the months to come as we continue to improve ways to find the people you want to communicate with.”