Facebook already offers a messaging feature that enables private conversations among its users. The new service, dubbed Titan, is expected to open the lines of communications to non-Facebook users, but will filter out messages from those who are not part of a user's social circle, according to the company.
Facebook said the new feature will more closely hew to how people are communicating today, which is faster and more off-the-cuff than via standard e-mail. The feature will be introduced gradually over the coming weeks, the company said.
In addition, Microsoft Corp. announced on its blog that it has integrated with Facebook's new messaging system, allowing users to view Word, Excel and PowerPoint attachments with the Office Web Apps directly in Facebook.