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Facebook is necessary. I have my own opinions about how useful it is compared to email, Twitter and other tools, but regardless of what I think — good or bad — people use it for both professional and personal reasons. It’s almost unchallenged as a web-based event planner, and many seem to prefer Facebook messages to email and its built-in messenger app to MSN or AIM.
I don’t like this because it means I have to visit Facebook to do a lot of my communication. Now, though, that no longer applies in all cases. Facebook announced yesterday that you can now reply to some things directly from your email, so long as you have your account set up to receive notifications.
All you have to do in order to use the new feature is put the content of your reply in the body of the email and hit “Reply,” and that message will appear under the wall post, comment, or whatever else. I’m wondering now if an implementation is planned for the messaging feature of Facebook, too, because as of now it doesn’t yet appear to be active.
Even without messaging support, this should definitely help me cut down on my wasted hours during the day. Email is a necessary evil that I have to deal with on the fly anyway, and folding some back and forth Facebook communication into that existing routine should occupy a lot less time than having either to check the site constantly or just having it open all the time, presenting itself as a very tempting distraction indeed. On the other hand, you might not engage with your Facebook friends as much now that you don’t have to go to the site as often.
Let us know whether you think the new email features help your Facebook usage.