Until the new Facebook timeline emerged in March of 2011, Facebook messaging and sending a message on Facebook were two different things. You can send a message to any user or group of users by clicking on the envelope at the top left side of your screen and selecting ?Create a message?. If you would like to send your message to multiple users, for example, your siblings, you can enter their names at the top and it will open up a message box for you to enter your message. Facebook messaging, however, was when you clicked on the ?Chat? box in the lower right hand corner and a list will appear with users who are online or that you regularly interact with.
With the new Facebook timeline layout, these functions are essentially the same. You cannot create group chats using Facebook messaging, this can only be done through sending a message. However, you if you send a direct message to someone it will appear in your Facebook messaging dialogue. Both can be used in real time. Facebook messaging is essentially an instant messenger for your Facebook account for you and your Facebook friends. This messaging service has essentially replaced the way many people used AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo Messenger in the past. The downfall of using the instant messaging system via Facebook is that you cannot be invisible which means that other people who you may not want to talk to can see that you are online and on the chat.
Using the message center, you can send and receive messages while still appearing offline to other users but you cannot navigate through other pages of your social media account without having to log back into the message center to access your new messages. Both of these services are available on most high end smart phones today. In the end, both Facebook messaging and sending a message through Facebook allow you to communicate with your friends in a simple, easy to use interface that is considered secure thanks to the advanced security settings from Facebook.
The only real differences are that you cannot send attachments such as documents through Facebook Messaging but you can attach images or documents to a message sent through Facebook. Additionally, when you close a Facebook dialogue, your chat will be saved in your messages folder. To delete messages you will need to click on the message group you wish to delete and select ?Delete All?. While you are simply in your messages inbox you will see an X which leads many users to believe that they can delete the messages that way but this option actually only archives the messages onto the Facebook interface.