Skip to main content

Facebook to Give Users @Facebook Email Address

Facebook today held a highly anticipated press conference in California and announced that it would be taking steps to develop Messages, a Facebook feature that allows users to send each other private messages within the site. However, despite the fact that part of Facebook's plan is to offer everyone an email address, the company says they're not trying to kill off email.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that he believes modern messaging is seamless, informal, immediate, personal, simple and minimal and the new version of Messages embodies those qualities. Basically, Zuckerberg says it's not email, and engineer Joel Seligstein reiterated this fact in a posting to the Facebook blog.

"To be clear, Messages is not email," said Seligstein. "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," he continued. "We wanted to make this more like a conversation."

Messages will also be organized in a way that users of regular email services, like Gmail and Hotmail, won't be used to. All of your messages with, say, your dad, will be together in one place, whether they are sent over chat, email or SMS. Think of it sort of like a 'Dad' folder in your inbox that you can click on and see all the messages you've exchanged. This level of organization is reserved for your friends and friends of friends only. Emails from your bank and the electricity company will be sent to a whole other inbox, which I guess is supposed to help you keep your social life and relationships separate from your dealings with the bank and whomever else. Messages from important people not on Facebook can be easily moved from this 'other' inbox to your social inbox.

Facebook is rolling out Messages gradually and users will start receiving invitations in the next few months. Once you get an invite, you can sign up and send invites to your friends and family.

Over all, despite what Zuckerberg and the rest of the Facebook crew say, it sounds like Facebook is trying to get into the email business. Sure, they can harp on about how Messages is different because there's no subject line and it lacks the ability to bcc, but if anyone can email your email address, even people without Facebook accounts, then we fail to see how this is different from an email service.

Read more about Messages here.

  • nforce4max
    No thanks I got a student email with my college, one that google couldn't rid of :)
  • Trashit
    And spammers everywhere rejoice!!! Xmas has come early :P
  • NeeKo
    No way ill exchange gmail for this
  • rohitbaran
    Well, it will become like orkut messages, full of spam.
  • proxy711
    Would only use it if it could be renamed so it wasn't oh and if gmail ceased to exist.
  • chickenhoagie
    errr...i don't see any point in this. The instant message chat they have now works perfectly fine. it sends instantly, only lets people talk to me when im online and willing to talk, and no spam. Why change something that works perfectly fine? they can achieve what programs like MSN messenger did, without having to implement an email address into it. I have enough emails to worry about. No one really wants or needs this.
  • eklipz330
    i WHOLEHEARTEDLY welcome the competition

    facebook seems to be putting up a good fight against google
  • Albyint
    Great, when the aliens come to destroy the idiots they will be easily identified by their email address. I sure as hell wont be getting dissected.
  • Yessssss! More data mining. I'll bet all e-mails sent and received are public domain as well.
  • alidan
    eklipz330i WHOLEHEARTEDLY welcome the competitionfacebook seems to be putting up a good fight against google
    good competition? facebook is competition for gmail? seriously? do people really think this?

    people may be paranoid that a computer looks at there email and shoots up an ad (dood its a computer not a person, think of it like a spam filter, i have over 20000 spam messages a month, you want to go through your email and pick out spam yourself? )

    facebook just seams to be a gathering point for crap that anyone on the internet already had, but now computer illiterates can use it all too, its a good but annoying things. i had to block 5 friends in real life for spamming me with those stupid quizzes an retarded websites, they know who they are and why i blocked them, now i get to block all of facebook email addresses.