Business Owners Weigh In on Facebook Messaging

Don't be a Zucker. Facebook's new e-mail messaging system might help you better manage your contacts -- or waste your time.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the March 2011 issue of . Subscribe »

Many business owners have embraced its new messaging e-mail service as their primary mode for communicating with contacts. But many others are sticking to the tried and true.

Can't Live With It
Jesse Waites, owner, Beacon Hill Apps, a mobile application development firm, Boston

With developers to manage, clients to woo and timelines to keep, Jesse Waites is the typical overbooked business owner. He says that even with Facebook's new messaging capabilities, it sucks away his valuable time.

"Being your own boss, you typically sit down for the day with a list of 10 or more important things to do," he says. "Being on Facebook is not the first thing on that list."

Waites says he doesn't want to interrupt a project by pondering whether or not to accept a friend request from a long-lost classmate. Perhaps even more of a black mark against Facebook messaging, though, is the issue of security.

"As an entrepreneur, I don't want Facebook reading my mail," he says. "Facebook messaging may be a very brilliant plan for lower-level Internet users--you know, people that want to play FarmVille and all that--but I've got a business to worry about."

Can't Live Without It
Shawn Hermanson, owner, Buzz Revolution, a marketing firm, Denver

For the past decade, Shawn Hermanson has made it his business to collect as many contacts as possible in his pursuit of generating buzz for his small-business clients. He's somewhat a victim of his own success:

Hermanson has so many unfiltered contacts in his long-standing web-based e-mail account that it is difficult for him to keep track of who's who.

Lately, when he's out of his office on business, he says he finds himself checking Facebook Messages on his phone more than he checks his regular e-mail account.

"I can honestly see myself discontinuing my regular e-mail account that I started back in 1998," he says.

Hermanson says Facebook messaging is easier to use than his regular e-mail, and it offers better control over contact management and more context about his contacts.

"It's kind of nice when you can actually see a photo of a person," he says. "It gives your e-mail account a little more personal touch."

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