Say goodbye to the “other” inbox and hello to the message request feature. As of October 27th, any Facebook message to someone that isn’t on your friends list and that doesn’t have your phone number saved will appear as a “message request” at the top of Facebook messenger on mobile or in the messages tab on the web.
Gone are the days when your Facebook messages had almost no chance of being seen, much less responded to. People will maintain control of who they respond to and when and if they respond but your messages will no longer be buried in the depths of oblivion.
What this means for us is that, unintentionally, Facebook has changed the entire sourcing landscape. To quote George Costansa, “its like discovering plutonium… by accident!” Basically, message requests will be like friend requests but only for chat. But, like plutonium, this new feature has the possibility to be used for both good and evil.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Welcome to the age of sourcing where you can now reach 1.4 billion people!” quote=”Welcome to the age of sourcing where you can now reach 1.4 billion people!”]
With great power comes great responsibility. We need to think carefully about how we use this new ability to reach people. Speaking about the changes this means for our business, industry expert Pete Radloff said, “I think the results will depend on how people approach it. If they treat it like Christmas morning then I think it will become just another source of spam.” He also cautioned, “I feel like people still want a separation of church and state as it were and still don’t know how they will police it.”
It would be wise to keep in mind we do not yet know how Facebook will monitor and or respond to spammers. Sourcing expert Aaron Lintz said, “I think they are going to have to build in some sort of spam filter. We hope they will track spam in a similar way they track it in emails. My instinct will be the person with the bigger network wins because they will not set off the spam filter as often. You have a better chance of having your message delivered. Your credibility is what is going to matter.”
Keep in mind that merchants of spam may end up getting themselves blocked. However, on the plus side, it seems more likely that people will write personalized messages and not use templates. This is because messages delivered this way won’t come from some email address you can hide behind, but from you personally. Inexperienced recruiters that go wild could make their messages undeliverable.
We don’t know the rules of the road just yet and It isn’t clear if email messages will still be sent or if they have gone away forever. A final word of caution came from industry blogger Derek Zeller, “ It will however alter what we as recruiters/sourcers do in order to reach folks and fight through the spam in my opinion. This may help cull the RINO’s (Recruiters In Name Only) out of our industry or further help in the hatred of our profession. Time will tell.”