July 23, 2013 — -- You might be getting Facebook messages you didn't know about and you might actually want to read them.
In your Facebook Messages inbox there is an "Other" folder or tab. It's something you probably haven't noticed, and Facebook has purposely made it somewhat hidden. It's where messages sent to you by strangers or people you aren't "friends" with are stored. Think of it as your Facebook spam folder, except it doesn't only collect spam. In many instances, it contains messages from real people who might be trying to get in touch with you.
New York Times columnist David Pogue recently pointed it out the folder and many are glad he did. Some of Pogue's readers found messages in there about missed job opportunities, many found messages from old friends they hadn't connected with in years and, sadly, others missed messages about the death of an old friend or someone they knew.
"Our priority is delivering the most relevant messages to you while keeping lower-quality messages out," Facebook Product Manager of Messages Jimmy Chen told ABC News in a statement. "We use a number of factors to determine that, the most important of which is friendship. If you're already friends with the sender, or you have a mutual friend, then the message will land in your inbox."
This author found lots of comments about articles and messages from interesting sources, though there was an overwhelming number of messages from male readers and viewers who seem to enjoy more than just my work. When it comes to those latter messages, the Other folder is doing exactly what Facebook intends it to do, but Facebook stresses that you can adjust the settings of what goes into the folder.
You can configure which messages go to your inbox by clicking the Inbox > Other > Edit Preferences settings. The settings are pretty basic and are designed to put all the messages from people you don't know in the Other folder, however, Facebook did introduce the ability to pay a $1 to deliver a message right to someone's inbox late last year.
Facebook says the folder has been there since 2010, which means you might have three years of hidden messages waiting for you. Get to reading and let us know in the comments if you come across any interesting ones.