A facelift for Facebook in-boxes, but is it enough?

The new look for Facebook's messaging feature will make it possible for members to flag spam and filter by unread messages, but most of other changes are cosmetic.

The new Facebook inbox. Facebook

Well, according to a post on the official Facebook blog, the social network's messaging feature is getting a much-needed revamp from its cruddy, bare-bones state. Select users have the new in-box now; it'll be rolling out to everyone else over the next few weeks.

The catch is that there aren't actually very many new features, just a better presentation of existing ones for the most part. You'll now be able to accomplish such technological marvels as filter your in-box for unread messages (wow!) and flag unwanted messages as spam.

There's also a more clearly delineated division between messages from friends on your friends list and updates from brands' "fan pages" that previously all went into the same in-box.

Some more updates are on the way. "Over time, we plan to migrate messages from Groups and Events to Updates as well, so you have more control over the communication you receive," the post by Facebook's Scott Marlette read. That means the message from the guy who just reconnected with you on Facebook after not speaking to you since the fourth-grade spider-in-the-lunchbox incident will have a different destination than the message to all guests of next week's Bocce ball tournament.

So, no, Facebook probably won't be replacing your e-mail client yet. But more importantly--it's prettier. Oh, and you can flag spam now--that's important.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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