Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few weeks, there’s no doubt you would have heard the noise in the lead up to Facebook’s latest announcement.

There’s been a lot of speculation as to what this announcement could be and it was yesterday at press conference in San Francisco when Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg finally announced Facebook’s latest venture – a new “modern messaging system”, that’s like email – but definitely NOT email.

The system allows the integrating of chat, texts and email in one place – the idea is that it creates one seamless social media conversation.

According to Zuckerburg, more than four billion messages are currently sent through Facebook on a daily basis – that’s personal messages, not messages from Pages or Groups. With this in mind, it seems that there is a big opportunity for Facebook to challenge for the top spot in the messaging world.

Although it’s not emeil, per-say, Facebook will be issuing ‘@facebook.com’ email addresses to all users who want one. Facebook’s Joel Seligstein, explains the ‘messaging’ system:

“To be clear, Messages is not email. There are no subject lines, no cc, no bcc, and you can send a message by hitting the Enter key. We modeled it more closely to chat and reduced the number of things you need to do to send a message. We wanted to make this more like a conversation.”

The new system is made up of three parts: seamless messaging, cross-platform conversation history and the social inbox. The latter is an inbox for filtering the messages you want, organised by the people you care about. It’s designed to highlight conversations with your real friends and be spam free.

Before you get too excited, you should know that like anything Facebook related, the system will be rolled out slowly over the next few months in an invite-only process.

Will you be joining to queue for a @facebook.com address?