As you may have heard, Facebook are reportedly set to unveil a new web-based e-mail service at a mysterious event that would give all users an ‘@facebook.com’ extention on the tail end of their existing usernames.
If we analyse the current market, we see that the E-mail services currently out there are dominated by the big companies, namely Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and AOL.
Microsoft have recently updated their Hotmail service, and being one of the first to offer a free e-mail service, Microsoft were always the ‘go-to’ solution for your free e-mail address.
Since the revolution of e-mail, more and more companies hoped aboard, and with AOL also being there from day one, Google also tried it’s hand at offering free web-based e-mail, albeit invitation at first.
Gmail then went live in 2007, and was upgraded from beta in July of 2009 to which it has around 193.3 million monthly users, according to Wikipedia.
But if we were to contrast this with Facebook, who have over 500 million worldwide users, it makes sense for them to turn their current messaging service into a fully fledged web-based e-mail product that fan pages, companies, groups and individuals can use for their day to day communicating.
The new service, I am told is said to resemble that of the big three services already on offer, but the reason behind this may actually be down to Google themselves as they have recently had a falling out with Facebook over “data hoarding.”
In short, Facebook will not allow users to export contact lists to Google’s email system, and Google retaliated by blocking users from adding Gmail contacts to Facebook. But Facebook found a loop-hole, and did it anyway.
Have we really come to a point in time where web-based e-mail is outdated and we have to settle with social networking, combined with it’s own e-mail service?
Think about all the privacy issues Facebook has had to put up with in past. Can you honestly say that this can be used as a platform for sending and receiving important, sensitive data? I’m not convinced myself. Especially in the last vein. Imagine being hacked, or duped into clicking one of those fake wall posts or ads (who clicks them anyway!?), and having not just your social networking profile, but every single email contained in it open to the hacker. And lets not even get in to talking about spam emails. That is another kettle of fish.
As you can see, there is plenty to debate when talking about an e-mail service that is integrated with a social networking platform, especially as big as Facebook. In our previous article, where we broke the news about Facebook’s suspected new service, we had a few comments regarding Facebook e-mail, and here is what a few of you had to say.
Jim said: – No. They have zero respect for privacy and I don’t want them in my personal business that deeply
Mary said: - Email needs to be reliable. Facebook doesnt know how to run a reliable sevice
Dilly said: – I have trust issues with Facebook and would never have an e-mail account with them.
As you can see, the outlook does not immediately look good for Facebook, so we thought we’d knock up a little poll for you to take part in. We also want your views on this, and ask you what things you want Facebook to include in their new mail service, when it goes live.