Chat-happy Facebookers rejoice!
Speaking with random strangers just became a whole lot easier with a new service called “Message Requests.”
No more will your idle Messenger musings be sent to the endless purgatory known as the “Other Inbox” – a place so obscure it didn’t even appear in iOS or Android renditions of the popular social network – when sent to non-friends or non-friends-of-friends.
Instead, says Messenger chief David Marcus, such important missives will now be given the level of prominence they deserve, appearing as a message request along with an appropriate notification.
Taking to his own Facebook account, Marcus wrote “Now, the only thing you need to talk to virtually anyone in the world, is their name,” before defining the one and only rule for the new Message Requests feature:
To help combat the threat of having a weirdo hassle you after a drunken chat in the pub, Facebook has designed Message Requests in a way that gives you just enough information to know who has contacted you – you’ll see their name, profile picture, some other publicly available information and a list of any mutual friends – as well as an ability to completely blow them off without them knowing whether you read their message or not.
When you receive such a message you will have the option of responding to it – which will cause the message thread to be transferred to your normal inbox – or completely ignore it, in which case it will be hidden away in the Filtered Requests folder, along with anything Facebook has identified as being spam.
And if you do delete or ignore one of these unsolicited messages, the sender will never be able to contact you again – an improvement of sorts over the current situation which may see you forced to exchange phone numbers or friend requests for what should be a one-off personal or business conversation.
Talking to TechCrunch, Tony Leach, Messenger’s Product Manager, spun the release of Message Requests as an opportunity for Facebook users to connect with long-lost family members and kindly strangers:
Of course Facebook itself will undoubtedly reap the benefits of an enhanced Messenger too – by allowing its users to make contact with any one of the 1.5 billion people already using the social network, uptake of Messenger is only likely to grow from its current base of 700 million active users.
Describing the change to Messenger, which is due to roll out over the next few days, as “small,” Marcus suggested the “foundational development” was just the beginning as the Facebook team continues “to improve ways to find the people you want to communicate with.”
Brits interested in taking advantage of the new feature may have to act quickly though – Facebook Messenger, along with the likes of Snapchat and WhatsApp, could still be under threat from Home Secretary Theresa May and the yet-to-be ratified Investigatory Powers Bill, which seeks to outlaw the use of encryption with some apps, as well as force service providers to hand communications data to authorities when asked for.
Thanks to the internet, you no longer have to physically approach someone you're interested in to ask them out. Now, free dating apps can help you connect with potential mates and chat with them electronically.
But what happens if a girl catches your eye on Facebook? How do you start a conversation with a girl on Facebook and get to know her, without scaring her off?
Let's discuss some important advice about how to approach a girl on Facebook and increase your chances of going on a date.
1. Make Sure Your Facebook Profile Isn't Weird
Years ago, most people were quick to accept any Facebook friend requests that came their way. Now, thanks to regular Facebook scams and spammers, savvy users won't add people they don't know.
So before you even send a girl a friend request or start chatting, take a look at your own Facebook profile. Make sure you're using a clear photo of yourself and not some animated character or random picture of nature. If you have an inside joke as your middle name, change it so it doesn't look strange. Make sure your school and place of work are accurate so she can identify you.
She'll likely give your profile a look before she decides whether to accept your friend request, so make sure it represents you well.
2. Consider Your Approach for the First Message
Once you've cleaned up your profile, your next step is considering what your relationship with this girl is. How to best start a conversation with a girl on Facebook depends on how well you know her.
If she's a new girl you've never met before and have no connections with: Good luck. You might as well send her a friend request and hope for the best. If you send her a message it will likely end up in her filtered inbox, where she'll never see it. You don't have many options aside from sending her a request.
If you're not Facebook friends with her but you have mutual friends: Are there any pictures or something else interesting on Facebook that involve the two of you? Perhaps you both went to a festival with mutual friends and there's a picture that has both of you tagged in it. Commenting something general about the event on that photo will at least let her know you exist. Try doing something like that before you send her a friend request, so she has an idea of who you are.
If you're already Facebook friends with her: You should seriously consider asking her out via another method other than Facebook. If you're too nervous to do this, send her a message letting her know that you're headed to an event happening this weekend and you'd like her to come along. Don't turn it into a "date" and don't put any pressure on the situation. Ideally, you should gather some friends to go, so it's a group of friends hanging out rather than a proper "date."
Nearly every situation will fall into one of these three scenarios. To ask a girl out on Facebook, you must have some kind of friend connection with her so she sees your messages. If you haven't sent her a friend request yet, it all falls on whether she accepts it or not.
3. How to Chat With a Girl on Facebook
Let's suppose that the girl you're crushing on decides to add you as a friend on Facebook. Now you're able to contact her through Messenger. Assuming she doesn't know you very well, your initial message should introduce yourself and assure her that you're not a spammer or a weirdo.
If you have mutual friends, start by mentioning who you both know, like this:
This lets her know who you are because you have a mutual friend and discusses something that you're both interested in right away. It's a simple and effective first message, even for a girl you barely know.
Since you're now friends on Facebook, take a few minutes to review her profile and see what she's interested in. Check the various tabs under About her page to see what she went to school for and what her current job is. Some people add their favorite quotes, media, or random details about themselves in the Details about [Name] section, but this isn't too common.
Take a look at her recent photos to see what she's done lately. Anything you can learn about her that gives you something interesting to talk about is key.
How to Message a Girl on Facebook You Don't Know
If you're attempting to ask a girl out that you don't know, try something like this as your first message:
There's no guarantee something like this will work, but being honest is as good a strategy as any. If she responds, continue with a natural conversation. Don't be weird: just talk to her like a human being.
4. How to Ask a Girl Out on Facebook (Appropriately)
After you've chatted for a bit on Facebook, you should stop and gauge the interactions so far before proceeding. When you've messaged her, does she respond in a timely manner? Is there back-and-forth conversation, or do you tend to get one-word answers like "Yeah" and "OK"? Has she expressed any interest in you, or does it feel like she's simply putting up with you?
Consider these questions carefully. If you've both had a great time talking and it seems like she'd be receptive to meeting up, give it a try. But if she doesn't seem interested when you're making pleasant conversation, it's likely that she isn't interested in a date.
At this point, if you don't want to ask her on a date just yet, try asking her for her phone number. That way, you can communicate through texting or a messaging app like WhatsApp. Using this, you can try talking more often throughout the day instead of using only Facebook.
Should you sense an interest after a bit of chatting on another platform, you can try asking her out via a phone call instead of Facebook. That should have better results and is more personal.
The Big Moment: Asking Her Out
If you want to forgo all of this and ask a girl out (or perhaps "toast" or "gist" a girl, as some say) on Facebook now, phrase the question tastefully. People know that others on the internet aren't always who they seem, so you don't want to do anything strange.
For instance, you certainly don't want to ask her to go to some remote location with you alone. You can suggest spending time in a group similar to the above, or try something like this pretty safe request:
Note two important facets of this: meeting in a public place, and giving a specific time for a date. You don't want to ask her to go up to your grandparents' cabin in the woods with you for a weekend, as that's creepy.
It's also important to avoid generalizations when it comes to the details of the date. Don't leave it open to "hang out sometime." Instead, mention a specific date and time frame so she can give you a straight answer. Make it clear that this is a date and you're interested in being more than friends.
Possible Responses After You Ask Her Out
After you ask her out on Facebook, it could play out in a few ways:
5. How to Talk to Girls on Facebook: A Few No-Nos
We've walked through the steps and potential pitfalls of asking a girl out on Facebook. To finish up, let's discuss some methods you should avoid. Trying to get a girl's attention with these will make you look like an idiot, cause her to feel uncomfortable, and not end well at all:
Have You Ever Asked a Girl Out on Facebook?
We've walked through a start-to-finish guide to approaching a girl on Facebook, chatting with her, and asking her out on a date. While it's possible to do, it's not the best method.
We recommend that you use any other available method at your disposal to ask a girl out that you're interested in. If you have her phone number, give her a call. Ask a mutual friend to introduce you in person. Messaging on Facebook is decent for getting to know basic details about someone, but it comes with a lot of drawbacks. Keep that in mind when you decide to message a girl on Facebook.
If Facebook doesn't work out, there are plenty of online dating services where you'll probably have better results.