Facebook Reply Extension

Dear Lazyweb,

As I’ve noted before, Facebook want to replace the open email system with their proprietary, closed, internal messaging system. At the moment, it sends you an email with the contents of messages you are sent on Facebook (which is, admittedly, better than the previous “you have a message on Facebook!” notifications) but you have to visit Facebook to reply.

I would like an extension for Thunderbird which, when it sees such a notification message, does the following:

  • Extract’s the person’s name from the Subject line, looks for that name in your address book and, if it finds a match, replaces the Reply-To header with the person’s name and the found email address;
  • Extracts the subject line from the body of the message, and puts it in the actual Subject, replacing “Fred Bloggs sent you a message on Facebook…”.

The result of doing that would be that, for people whose email addresses you know (note, Facebook, no email address screen scraping in this idea) the message would look like an email which they had just sent you, and you could just hit Reply and Thunderbird will Do The Right Thing, meaning you don’t have to visit Facebook to reply and use their poor excuse for webmail.

5 thoughts on “Facebook Reply Extension

  1. It would be nice if there was a mechanism in thunderbird that would replace the normal messagepane with a chrome or html based form based on the sender of maybe part of the subject.

    than you could make it work for facebook, hyves or any other site..

  2. Good idea, I’d use it if it was there.
    Extra credit for being able to post the replay back to Facebook if the email address isn’t available.

    And I guess you might want similar functionality for other social sites.

  3. I’ve tried tinkering with this idea today, and of the four steps above (identify the contact, replace the reply-to field, scrape the subject, and replace the subject field), the two scraping steps are trivial to do in TB3, but the replacement steps are impossible, AFAIK. If anyone knows how to do that (i.e., persistently change the header fields of a downloaded message), then it should be easy to finish up.