We’re here today at the St. Regis in San Francisco where Facebook is unveiling what CEO Mark Zuckerberg is calling a “modern messaging system”. Zuckerberg recalled talking to high schoolers recently and asking them how they communicate with one another. They don’t like email. “It’s too formal,” Zuckerberg noted. So about a year ago, Facebook set out to overhaul the system. But this isn’t just about email.
“This is not an email killer. This is a messaging experience that includes email as one part of it,” Zuckerberg said. It’s all about making communication simpler. “This is the way that the future should work,” he continued.
Here are the keys to what a modern messaging system needs according to Zuckerberg:
In order to make this work, “we had to completely rebuild the infrastructure that this system is build on,” Bosworth noted. People are aware of Facebook’s Cassandra system, but now they’ve built something new called hBase (working alongside the open source community again).
He said that 15 engineers have worked on this product — remarkably, this is the most that have ever worked on a single Facebook project.
Right now, this system is merging four main things: SMS, IM, email, and Facebook messages. Zuckerberg said that they’d consider other tech, like VoIP in the future. But right now this is mainly about consolidating text-based messages.
This messaging system will be rolling out pretty slowly over the period over the next few months, Zuckerberg said.