Facebook is rolling out a service that will see users able to reply to comments left on their updates simply by replying to the email notification that they receive informing them that someone has left a comment.
It’s a relatively simple update, and indeed, one that some Facebook users (who had their Facebook’s set to languages they could read) twigged a couple of months back, before Facebook confirmed that it was working on something to allow users to reply directly from their email inboxes. It’s a relatively simple idea, and one that could see Facebook’s comments skyrocket when it comes to those of us who receive mail directly to mobile devices but aren’t bothered opening Facebook apps every few minutes.
Of course, there are some fairly pronounced questions surrounding the new functionality that we’d imagine will come up fairly quickly. It’s become common practice in the office here at Komplett to check and see if someone has left their Facebook logged in after lunch already, so we’d imagine that the ability to reply straight from mail will lend to that atmosphere of paranoia… It might seem a very specific angle indeed, but there are security concerns around this kind of functionality.
Perhaps the biggest question about all of this is just what’s in it for Facebook. While they’ll still be pulling users in with photos and making status updates in the first place, it’s hard not to see the ability to respond to comments from within an email as a solid reason not to use the man Facebook page itself. In that case, it seems as though Facebook could well be losing ad revenue from every person who chooses to respond via email rather than clicking through to Facebook itself.
Still, more content will likely encourage more traffic from those who don’t use the reply via mail option.