How to Use Facebook’s ‘Other’ Message Inbox

This is a guest post by Chris Pedersen. If you would like to submit a guest article, please check out our guest post guidelines.

Did you know that anyone can Message you on Facebook even though you are not friends on Facebook?

I discovered this by accident while attempting to contact a winner of a recent promo code giveaway held on my Facebook Page. After composing a message, Facebook “asked” if I wanted to send a message to the user’s ‘Other’ message inbox or pay $1 to have it delivered to the Message Inbox. Hmmmm… what is the Other message inbox?

A Double Discovery

That sent me to my own Message Inbox to check it out. Sure enough, there was an Other Inbox. I clicked on it and found a number of messages. Many had been marked as spam, but I found one with a familiar last name: Zook.

Facebook's 'Other Message" Inbox

I clicked on the name and read a very interesting message from a man who wondered if I was the same Chris who studied Electrical Engineering at Cal Poly at the time he studied Mechanical Engineering.

While attending an event last year, he introduced himself to a woman who asked if he had anything to do with a children’s app because her grandson ran around saying “Great Zooks” all the time. A Google search on the expression brought him to my Facebook page for Purple Carrot Books. There he learned that Aiden, the hero of The Prisoner of Carrot Castle iPad storybook, loves to say, “Great Zooks!”

Now you know to check your Other message box. You may discover a long-time friend or acquaintance trying to get in touch.

A Dollar Well Spent

If you’re curious, I elected to pay the $1 to send a message to my giveaway winner’s Message Inbox rather than hope she might know to check her Other message inbox. And now one more happy little reader of The Prisoner of Carrot Castle can run around saying, “Great Zooks!”

Have you checked your Other message inbox lately?

**Note from Laura Christianson:

The Other Message Inbox is present on both personal profile timelines AND brand/fan pages. To find it on your brand page, open the Admin Panel and click “See All” in the “Messages” module (located in the upper righthand corner). Scroll to the bottom of your messages and click the link called “Other Messages.”

When you use the Other Message Inbox via your personal timeline, note that you can edit Message Filtering Preferences. Here’s how Facebook’s Help Center explains it:

Message Filtering Preferences

Basic Filtering

If you select Basic Filtering, you’ll see mostly messages from friends and people you may know (ex: friends of friends) in your inbox. Typically, messages from other people will go to your Other folder, and you won’t receive a notification about them.

Strict Filtering

If you select Strict Filtering, you’ll see mostly messages from friends in your inbox. Some messages from people you want to hear from may go to your Other folder.
Whichever filter you choose, you may sometimes get messages in your inbox from people you’re not connected to. Some examples of when these messages may go to your inbox are:

  • A friend of a friend includes you in a message along with some of your mutual friends
  • A member of a group you’re in messages you or includes you in a message
  • A friend who isn’t on Facebook uses your contact info to send you a message from the Facebook Messenger app

Additionally, someone you’re not connected to on Facebook may pay to ensure their message is routed to your inbox instead of your Other folder.

Chris PedersenChris Pedersen is a writer, health encourager, entrepreneur and published author for children and adult non-fiction. Her latest work, The Prisoner of Carrot Castle, developed for the iPad and soon to be released as a print book, teaches kids to eat healthy in a fun way.

As a life-long health enthusiast, Chris overcame her greatest challenge, genetic cancer, with her optimum wellness approach, which stresses traditional foods as a foundation.

Chris blogs at Healthy Journey Café and is chief enthusiast at Purple Carrot Books.

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  • Diane Bianchi

    Wow! I had no idea the “other” messages box even existed! Thanks for sharing this information.

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  • John Hersey

    Someone needs to tell Google to
    A.) Have an “I’m an adult and I can decide myself what message I want.” option; and/or
    B.) Have an intro message attached to Friendship requests so people can explain how they know you. (Women changes their names and you may not recognise the surname, distant relatives you have never met or heard of may want to contact you, etc.);
    otherwise a new social media called “Useful” will replace them.

  • Laura Christianson

    Good point, John. You should consider applying for a job at Facebook!