Messaging is a very important aspect of social networks. It is an aspect of Narrative that has been left mostly undiscussed.
When in the timeline is the messaging functionality going to be introduced? Beta launch?
If there is a labor-effective way of launching some form of messaging earlier, I think we would find it would help enthusiasm for Narrative grow, and help the community grow. The alpha is not going to feel like a 'place' until the community can connect with each other properly there. In a word, it is not social yet. Which makes it hard for people to intuitively embrace Narrative as what it says it is: a social media network. We also say we are a content economy, but that won't really come into its own until there is content published after Beta Launch.
Introducing a basic social aspect to the alpha would amplify the buzz. Are there not plug and play messaging add-ons that can be bolted on to the alpha?
The same goes for the ability to friend each other...