Chat-happy Facebookers rejoice!
Speaking with random strangers just became a whole lot easier with a new service called “Message Requests.”
No more will your idle Messenger musings be sent to the endless purgatory known as the “Other Inbox” – a place so obscure it didn’t even appear in iOS or Android renditions of the popular social network – when sent to non-friends or non-friends-of-friends.
Instead, says Messenger chief David Marcus, such important missives will now be given the level of prominence they deserve, appearing as a message request along with an appropriate notification.
Taking to his own Facebook account, Marcus wrote “Now, the only thing you need to talk to virtually anyone in the world, is their name,” before defining the one and only rule for the new Message Requests feature:
The rule is pretty simple: If you're friends on Facebook, if you have each other's contact info in your phone and have these synced, or if you have an existing open thread, the new messages from that sender will be routed to your inbox.
Everything else will now be a message request, minus spam attempts that we will continue to ruthlessly combat.
To help combat the threat of having a weirdo hassle you after a drunken chat in the pub, Facebook has designed Message Requests in a way that gives you just enough information to know who has contacted you – you’ll see their name, profile picture, some other publicly available information and a list of any mutual friends – as well as an ability to completely blow them off without them knowing whether you read their message or not.
When you receive such a message you will have the option of responding to it – which will cause the message thread to be transferred to your normal inbox – or completely ignore it, in which case it will be hidden away in the Filtered Requests folder, along with anything Facebook has identified as being spam.
And if you do delete or ignore one of these unsolicited messages, the sender will never be able to contact you again – an improvement of sorts over the current situation which may see you forced to exchange phone numbers or friend requests for what should be a one-off personal or business conversation.
Talking to TechCrunch, Tony Leach, Messenger’s Product Manager, spun the release of Message Requests as an opportunity for Facebook users to connect with long-lost family members and kindly strangers:
We've heard so many stories like estranged parents trying to get back in touch, or you lost your wallet and someone trying to get in touch with you.
That's why we want to replace that with a system that makes it a lot easier to catch the messages that you want to see.
A level of openness where you can get in touch with anyone in the world but still have the control yourself of who contacts you and who can't.
Of course Facebook itself will undoubtedly reap the benefits of an enhanced Messenger too – by allowing its users to make contact with any one of the 1.5 billion people already using the social network, uptake of Messenger is only likely to grow from its current base of 700 million active users.
Describing the change to Messenger, which is due to roll out over the next few days, as “small,” Marcus suggested the “foundational development” was just the beginning as the Facebook team continues “to improve ways to find the people you want to communicate with.”
Brits interested in taking advantage of the new feature may have to act quickly though – Facebook Messenger, along with the likes of Snapchat and WhatsApp, could still be under threat from Home Secretary Theresa May and the yet-to-be ratified Investigatory Powers Bill, which seeks to outlaw the use of encryption with some apps, as well as force service providers to hand communications data to authorities when asked for.
54 comments on “Facebook ‘Message Requests’ lets you contact anyone, even if you’re not friends”
Horrific. We have all turned off email and messages from those who are not friends, so Facebook changes the system again so our privacy can be intruded on again.
They’re already hacking our FB
I have been pestering fb for a friends only option to message me. I have a stalker who can access me by friending my friends. Blocking isn’t a good idea, I did that & he drove to my house to discuss. I just want privacy his requests scare me I see his name cropping up in a request. I deactivec hoping this issue would be sorted I guess I’ll have to delete the whole taccoubt I’ve waited six months for the improvements
I like it because, now I can ask that person who sent me a Friend Request how they know me, without having to accept. Linked in is YEARS behind on that, but they suck anyways (hosting all their content on multiple domains so allowing access to them through a filter is a pain in the arse)
You could always have your settings so you could accept messages but not a friend request.
well so why do I keep getting useful messages from people I know and with who i am in the same several groups in my filtered inbox so i missed a lot of them instead of getting them as message requests ? facebook message filtering algorithm is s–t
If I accept a message request but do not respond yet, is the person notified that I accepted the request?
I am getting notifications of message requests but where do I go to see them? I’ve looked everywhere and searched Google and still can’t find how to actually find them to accept or decline them.
They do not appear in your main inbox (named ‘recent’) but instead appear in another drop down option named ‘message requests’ the two are next to each other in your facebook messenger
I am a bit confused on this; if you message someone who isn’t your friend and they get the request and hit “ignore”, does the message always stay as “sent” rather than “delivered”? Also, does it prevent you from messaging them ever again?
Can they also accept the message and not respond and the sender not be notified they received the message?
Bazonkas, if you send a message and they hit ignore, you will not know whether they saw it or not, your message on your end will be shown only as sent.. so you never know if they saw it or not.. and if they hit ignore.. i believe they won’t receive anymore of your messages if you send more.. i believe not sure on that one.. but i don’t think they will receive anymore from you.
F you accept a message as a one off does that mean that person wll then be a friiend and able to see all your personal Facebook stuff
i wondered that too.
Did you ever get the answer to this ?
of course not…
If i send a message to a non friend and it tells me they accepted my request will they recieve the message i sent? As i wrote it or will it be blank
I wanna know that too
If someone sends me a private mail who isn’t my friend and I open it will they see I have seen their message?
Apparently yes, it pulls the message into your standard inbox and sends them a request to accept any messages you may send and they can now see any time you open any of their messages….
If I accept the message request, and reply back… And then delete the conversation, will they still be able to message me? Or will it block me from seeing future messages?
Did anyone respond to this question? I would like to know if someone saw the message request, responded, then deleted it, will they be able to receive future messages by the sender again?
I clicked on decline by accident anyone know what I can do about it?
How do I see these message requests on fb messenger app for android?
I just got a message request today under a Name i don’t know`I asked them Do I Know You and they just said meassge me Ok`So I just Blocked them!
This is pretty shit as it lets spammers spam you and you can’t block, ignore or mark it as spam. I HATE facebook and the ONLY reason I use it is becasue my friends have accounts.
I opened two requests to read them, exited my messenger app, and went back and they were gone. I’m pretty frustrated because I don’t know where they are and they were people responding to a for sale post. I’m trying to sell something and I have no idea where the opened message went.
Can they never respond to me again?
Would I have technically accepted the request of I opened and read the message? Idk
I opened the message, not fully understanding what it meant by accepting.. Now there icon says they are in my contacts, but we’re not friends through Facebook and the information isn’t in my contacts list through my iPod, why does it say their in my contacts and how to I remove it?
i am having the same problem i would like to know but i would like to know if they are in my contacts does that mean its someone i know using a fake profile
Facebook is horrible. Stalkers rejoice.
A person called [Name Redacted] is chatting to me on FB messenger. How do I know who I’m actually chatting to?
Someone keep messaging my friend about me with explicit contents. My friend accepts the message then deleted it, will this unknown person be able to contact my friend through favebook message again?
Yes I have the same problem and I’d like to completely block all message requests from coming in unless you are my friend on FB. To bad Facebook hasn’t stepped up their game.
I’m trying to get an important message via messenger to somebody. This person did not eccept my friend request. I don’t get a response, but it is very important to reach this person. Will my messenger message reach that person anyway, although we not friends on facebook?
If someone is not friends with me on Facebook but sends me a message request and I accept it, would they be able to see everything I do on Facebook? If I accept their message request on messenger does that means they become friends on Facebook as well? Please someone respond!
To answer some of the questions on here, NO you are not suddenly friends with someone who accepted the message request. YES the other person who sent you the message is notified that you did.
Stupidest idea ever. The point of us wanting to be contacted “ONLY” by friends was to keep stalkerish behaviour off our Facebook. Now Facebook has decided ” we will allow users that you don’t know to say, basically, “Hey target. I’m watching you.” and send you a message request. You think denying their request goes unknown? As soon as you deny it, the sender is informed they can’t message you as soon as they try again so they create more accounts, and more, and more. It was nice being able to remove the message user option with a simple security setting. Proof even more that Facebook is tailored for teens who don’t understand personal boundaries. Even Zuckerberg behaves like a stalker by allowing this message request feature. Stupid.
I got a message that someone “accepted my request” and I didn’t send a request. How is that possible? Creeps me out!!
someone I know, but I’m not friends with messaged me today. Long to short, said I sent her a request. Wasn’t a nice conversation on her end, but I kept calm, apologized etc. I do not recall making that request and I apologized again. She claimed I was spying, but really don’t think I requested her friendship. Where can I look to see if I sent so-called request? I’m pretty picky about who I friend. I’ve looked everywhere and can find a request or thread leading to said request…and I’m old, not computer savvy! It’s a small town …. I managed properties for a long time. Is this confidential?
i got his too? what does it mean?
I dont like reading messages from strangers.. I dont want to see their messages. Other people uses dummy accounts to send messages to ruin somebody or someones life. Even if ignored i dont like reading strangers messages.
I agree. So many crazy people out there. Facebook should not allow this. So much for privacy.
Seems like a fantastic way for potential stockers to engage and for the authorities to never be able to access record of conversations in a missing persons case or murder case. Just sayin’
I do not want to get a message request from someone I do not know. The last be I got was so hateful. I had to report it. I do not agree with this at all.
I have alot of Message Requests. I click on their name and I don’t see a message that was sent. I have several items that I am selling and thinking they may be trying to message me about buying. Messages are the only way to contact the seller in Marketplace.
Fb has created horrific stalker issues, I want friend only for messages. I’ve received sone terrible requests I can see these messages from friends of friends who befriend a personbto access my inbox.
Many people enjoy the luxury of no message icon so they’re protected from strangers & stalkers. What on earth are fb doing preventing privacy. Notifications are off, I still see these when I look on messenger, I’m forced to read them before accepting.
Vulnerable and exploited by the friends of friends option. Disgraceful cynical decision fb
What if you get a message request from a groupchat? When you ignore that request does messenger kick you out from that group inevitably letting the person who added you know that you have seen it ?
How do I recover Ignored Message Request on Facebook? I accidentally hit the Ignore Button.
Message requests spook me out, it serves no positive purpose. Much prefer to only allow friends or friends of friends to send these requests. You can’t unsee things from predators.
I don’t care about my lost wallet, the police will help or a proper friend request on fb itself.
Fb messenger should give users of messenger the same options, and rights to privacy.
What do you do when you get a threatening message from a random stranger you don’t know (who may or may not know you) on your message requests? It can’t be reported on the reporting form they provide as under the box asking for the name of the person sending the abusive messages it wants you to tag them… but it’s from someone who isn’t a friend and do not want as a friend so can’t tag.
If it says you contacted a person “you contacted John Doe” does that mean u sent them a message? My girlfriend said she just added them?
Someone whom wasn’t my Facebook friend sent me a not so good message and it went to “Message Requests” but by the time I tried to erase it, I’m guessing they blocked me & it for some reason won’t let me erase the message. And unfortunately there are a couple “Message Requests” from others it won’t let me erase either? I WANT to delete them so I don’t have to see them every time I go see my “Message Requests” And no, it’s not me having them blocked. Is there ANY way to delete them?? PLEASE HELP!!
I have a ton of messages from “Facebook Users” with no messages that I cannot delete. How can I delete them?