To access your messages, click MESSAGES. It's in the LEFT COLUMN next to your newsfeed. It is the second item in that column, under NEWS FEED.
You can also see messages by clicking on the conversation bubble icon at the top RIGHT of your screen. This will provide a preview for your inbox. (You can also view messages sent to your other folder. We'll discuss that folder in a moment.)
If you click a message from this preview it will open as a chat box at the bottom of your screen. That's because...
Chat and message histories are threaded together — you can think of them as one and the same. When you open a conversation, you’ll see a conversation that includes all your messages along with your entire chat history. If you send a chat message to a friend who has turned chat off, the chat message will be sent directly to their message inbox.The default view in your messages is of your Inbox. You can search for a specific message by typing in the search bar on the top left, above your messages. You can also search by clicking the magnifying glass on the right.
You can view your Other messages by click OTHER, next to INBOX. You can see Archived, Unread, and Spam messages by clicking MORE.
You can start a new message by clicking + NEW MESSAGE in the center of your center. A blank message will appear. Type the name of your friend in the TO field. Your friends and friends of friends will appear as you type. So will previous messages.
You can send a message to anyone on Facebook. You might want to send a message because you are friends with someone but don't have his or her e-mail address. Or you might not be friends but want to contact the person. (To do that, find the person's page and click MESSAGE at the bottom right of his or her cover.)
If you are not friends with the person, the message may be sent to his or her Other box. If you send a message don't hear back, make this assumption. Most people don't check for Other messages. (It also makes you feel better!)
If you're messaging a stranger, Facebook may prompt you to pay the social media giant to ensure that the message is delivered to the inbox. Is that shady or what?! The fee is about $0.99.
If you're not friends with someone, but the person is in a group on a message (say, the message is sent to a group of people, or a Facebook group) or is a friend of a friend it may go to the inbox. Likewise, you may receive a message this way.
Messages are also sent to Other when they are pre-filtered. I think that's pretty rude of Facebook, personally. Whereas an inbox message will prompt Facebook to notify you via e-mail, an Other message will not. Per Facebook:
I advise that you occasionally check your Other folder. If you're worried about missing out, you can manage your settings:Your Other folder is where you'll find messages and emails that have been filtered out of your inbox. You can change your filter preference right from your inbox.To get to your Other folder, click Messages on the left side of the homepage. At the top left of your main messages view, click Other.
You can change your filter preferences right from your inbox:Messages may end up in Other anyway.
- Go to your messages inbox
- In the upper-left corner of your messages, click Other
- Click Edit Preferences
- Select Basic or Strict filtering
- Click Save
Managing Messages, Facebook Help
Sending A Message, Facebook Help
What is the "Other" folder in my inbox?, Facebook help