In 2010, Facebook began rolling out an innovative approach to messaging, which the company dubbed "The New Messages." The new messaging platform tied in the old message system, chat and SMS messages. The new system allows you to see all the messages from the same person in a single thread, showing you a full conversation history. The old system was reminiscent of old e-mail platforms that show individual, unthreaded messages. The New Messages system is comparable to the approach Google took with their web-based e-mail platform.
Unfortunately, if you are still using the old Facebook messaging system, then you cannot recover a deleted message. The new messaging platform does not delete messages, but archives them instead. If you are on the new system, you can go to the archived message section to view messages you thought were gone.
Old Facebook Messaging
The old Facebook messaging system featured the traditional "From" and "Subject" fields from first generation e-mail systems. Though the "To" field was required to send a message, the "Subject" area could be left blank by the sender. The old system also let you permanently delete a message from your inbox, where the new platform only lets you archive it.
New Facebook Messaging
Facebook's New Messages is a more streamlined approached to messaging based on the company's statistics and research into how users sent messages in the past. The new platform has entirely removed the traditional "Subject" field, speeding up the steps to send a message. The new system's inbox will show all chat messages between users along with any received or sent SMS messages, if that option is enabled. All messages between two or more Facebook users show in a full conversation thread history.
Getting New Facebook Messages
You can upgrade to the New Messages if you do not already have it activated in your Facebook account. Since the company is gradually rolling out this new feature, you may need to request an invitation. Type "facebook.com/about/messages" into your browser and click the "Request Invite" button. Facebook will notify you when it is time to upgrade.
Finding Archived Messages
To retrieve an archived message, sign in to your Facebook account with your login e-mail and password. Click the "Messages" option from the left menu. Scroll to the bottom of your messages and click the "Archived" link. You will find it near "View" toward the left. On the results page, locate the message you are looking for, which will list the name of person you had a conversation with. Under the new system, all messages you had with one person are in the same thread together, listed under that friend's name.
Alternatively, you can search for archived messages by going to the search box near the top right side. Click the "Magnify Glass" icon and select "Archived Messages." Insert the mouse cursor behind the phrase "is:archived" and hit the space bar. Type the keywords and hit "Enter" to search.
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