The Others Folder: A top tip about Facebook messages (or how I felt like a complete Facebook numpty yesterday)

Paris Tuileries Garden Facepalm statue

I’ve been using Facebook for a bit over a year now, but still don’t feel completely confident about using it.

Part of the problem is the noise. I often feel visually assaulted by the amount of stuff that pops up when I log in. Looking at my newsfeed gives me a similar feeling as walking into a four year old’s birthday party. However I’ve learned a few tricks to calm my newsfeed, so it now feels less like an out of control kids party. Now it’s morelike an out of control large dog that wants to keep jumping up and licking my face. Hey, that still feels like progress.

My big Facebook discovery yesterday was the Other message folder.

I had just read an article by New York Times tech writer David Pogue, who recounted a story about a friend of his discovering the Facebook Other message folder for the first time. The friend was horrified to find the Other folder full of messages from important friends going back years. He’s missed these messages as he assumed all messages from friends would wind up in his Inbox.

David Pogue then checked his Other folder, and also found a bunch of messages from friends and colleagues he had no idea he’d received.

I then checked my Other folder, and had my own moment of shock. Messages from friends. Messages from relatives in Australia passing on information about a close family member’s illness that I’d seemingly ignored. A lovely note from a month ago giving me some positive feedback and suggestions on an article I wrote about making family car trips more pleasant by playing kids audiobooks (Thanks Sarah!)

How do you check your Other folder? Go to your Facebook page. On the left-side panel, click “Messages”.

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There next to “Inbox” in bold is a light grey “Other”. Click “Other” and see what messages are waiting for you.

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Why does Facebook put messages into Other and not Inbox? It seems to be for two reasons. Firstly, it seems Facebook treats the Other folder a bit like a Spam folder with email. If Facebook is not sure that you know the person that has sent you the message, they will put the message in Other rather than Inbox.

The other reason is a bit more sneaky – Facebook also offer a service where they will charge people / businesses whom you haven’t Friended for the privilege of sending a message direct to your Inbox, bypassing your Other folder.

Looking to move messages from the Other folder to your Inbox? You can have future messages from person automatically routed to the Inbox in future by Friending the person. Alternatively, to move messages to the Inbox on a message-by-message basis, you can go to the top of the screen an click on “Actions” then select “Move to Inbox”.

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If you too have fallen foul of the Other folder, all you need to do now is send messages back to the people in the Other folder you care about and hope your reply doesn’t get stuck in their Other folder, never to be seen.

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2 Responses to The Others Folder: A top tip about Facebook messages (or how I felt like a complete Facebook numpty yesterday)

  1. Martin Dixon August 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    Found this in mine – I'll let you follow up and you can have a cut…

    Complement , I am Barrister Godwin Lambert , personal attorney to late Engineer Robert Dixon, nationality of your country who died in fatal car accident and left behind a deposit of US$10.2Million in a bank here in the Republic of Togo.
    I hereby seek your consent to present you as the next of kin since you have the same last name and I have the documents that would confer you the legal right for the claim.

  2. Andrew Arnison August 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Thanks for the tip Martin. I think we're going to be rich!

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