Tag Archive: facebook email


 Facebook’s major messaging announcement may not have been the direct frontal assault on Gmail that many had anticipated, but that doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t have reason to be concerned. The new e-mail capabilities, combined with the integration of Microsoft Office Web Apps make Facebook a more complete business tool and a more direct competitor for Google Apps.

Mark Zuckerberg was up front about the fact that the new Facebook e-mail will not give users a reason to suddenly drop existing Gmail accounts and switch to Facebook. It isn’t so much a direct rival to Gmail as a shift in the overall concept and application of messaging. It is more of a unified communications approach rather than simply a Web-based e-mail service.

Facebook messaging will make it a powerful cross-platform unified communications tool.

A post on the Microsoft IW News Bites Blog describes the benefits of merging Office Web Apps with Facebook messaging. “Inspiration and the need to share documents can strike at any time and in any context–yes, even while looking at pictures of a friend’s new pug on Facebook. You may want to send your friend a spreadsheet containing data you pulled together on organic dog food prices in shops within the Bay area. Lucky you…Microsoft Office is now a part of Facebook’s new messaging system, allowing people to view Word, Excel and PowerPoint attachments with the Office Web Apps directly in Facebook.”

Facebook users who don’t have Microsoft Office locally installed will be able to work with the Web-based counterparts for free and send the Microsoft Office files as attachments using the Facebook messaging system. The Office Web Apps don’t have the extensive features and capabilities of the actual Microsoft Office programs, but according to the Microsoft blog post, “If you have Office installed on your computer, you will be able to download, edit and save attachments to your computer.”

What the Facebook messaging does–especially when the Microsoft Web Apps integration is considered–is make Facebook a more direct competitor for Google Apps as an online platform for business. Organizations can use Facebook to stay in touch with status updates and instant messaging. The partnership with Skype provides access to VoIP (voice over IP) voice communications and group chat. The new Facebook messaging enables e-mail communications within and outside of the Facebook social network, and the inclusion of Office Web Apps and the ability to send Microsoft Office file attachments make Facebook a comprehensive communications and productivity platform to rival what Google has to offer.

Facebook is already the online destination where users spend the majority of their time online–even if many of them are just playing Farmville or Mafia Wars. Expanding the marketing potential of Facebook with Facebook Places and Facebook Deals, and extending the communications value of Facebook with messaging and Microsoft Office integration make Facebook a powerful business platform.

Watch out Google.

as said by Tony B.

         Facebook announced Monday that its new messaging system is blurring the line between e-mail and social networking, but that decision is the worst thing that ever happened.

                   Facebook said it will slowly be rolling out the new, improved, email-esque messaging system over the next few months. While Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says that the new messaging system is far from a replacement for e-mail, it’s also a little too close for comfort.

 Here’s why you should run, as fast as you can, away from Facebook Messages:

You Can’t Delete Messages

Hear that? It’s the sound of your worst nightmare coming true — you will never, ever be able to forget that awful drunken text message you sent to your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend  last New Year’s Eve (because, hey, text messages and chat messages are all integrated!), because you cannot delete Facebook messages.

OK, to be fair, Facebook does say that, while you can’t delete individual messages, you can archive or permanently delete entire threads. If you archive the thread it will still exist (you’re basically just hiding it), but if you delete it, it will be gone forever. Or, well, so Facebook says — for all we know, when you try to delete a conversation thread, your friend’s picture will pop up with a note that says “Lisa will miss this message if you delete it :(”

Non-Facebook Friends Can E-mail You

So, this wouldn’t be such a bad idea if, you know, I didn’t already have a completely valid e-mail address, which my non-Facebook friends can use in order to communicate with me.

Let me tell you a story: not too long ago, I uploaded some photos of my trip to Medellin, Colombia, to Facebook. I then tried to send the album to my mother (using Facebook’s “share” feature — where it says something to the extent of “Go ahead, share these photos with your non-Facebook friends!”). My mother was then required to sign up for Facebook in order to view my photos.

Moral of the story: if Facebook ever wants someone’s e-mail address (under the pretense of “sharing photos” or “sending a message”), it’s so the site can bully more people into joining. Don’t fall for it.

There Are No Subject Lines

Facebook is trying to sound all casual and cool by omitting pesky “formalities,” such as subject lines. Instead, all of your communications with any one person will be bundled into one GIANT thread of e-mail, text, and chat communication.

   Gmail gives you viewing options.

I have a hard enough time hunting down important e-mails in Gmail — and that’s with all of the advanced search options Google provides. I cannot even begin to imagine what a pain it would be to find things in a single, unbroken thread. Not to mention that I can’t imagine that Facebook’s search is anywhere near as comprehensive as is Google’s or Yahoo’s (thanks to Google and Yahoo being primarily, you know, search engines).

Automatic Friendships

When my mother joined Facebook (in order to see my photos; I helped her delete the account later), she was automatically added to my Facebook friend list. Now, let me tell you something: my Facebook is under lock and key. Every couple of days I go in and tweak the privacy settings, just to make sure that Facebook hasn’t pulled a fast one on me. But all I had to do was send my mother one thing and she was automatically granted full access to my Facebook account.

So, just think about this scenario for a second: you send an e-mail from your Facebook e-mail account to your boss. A client. A prospective employer. Your grandmother. And they can sign up for a Facebook account and see everything you’ve posted.

Think about it.

Look, there are a lot of other reasons not to use Facebook messaging: privacy concerns (Facebook will now have all of your information and all of your e-mails), the opt-out, not opt-in policy (if you create a Facebook e-mail address, by default everyone will be able to see it and e-mail you … it’s up to you to change the settings), etc. Also, none of its “pros” are really pros — spam filters, conversation threads, @domain.com e-mail addresses?! OMG, nobody has ever thought of those before

as said by Sarah J. P.

Facebook E-Mail Service Expected Monday

 

Hey Facebook fans, rumor has it you may be getting e-mail addresses ending with “@facebook.com” as early as Monday. It’s a thought that likely has privacy advocates cringing as even more user data would fall under the control of the world’s largest social network.

The rumored service wouldn’t be just an updated version of Facebook’s currently pathetic Inbox, either, but an actual Webmail client to compete with services such as Gmail and Hotmail, according to TechCrunch. Code-named Project Titan, the new e-mail service is expected to be announced Monday at a special Facebook press event during the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Rumors of a Facebook e-mail service first surfaced in February. At the time, it was suggested that your Facebook vanity URL might be automatically assigned to you as your @facebook.com e-mail address.

Facebook Invitation Hints

Adding credence to TechCrunch’s report are two features in Facebook’s press invitation suggesting Monday’s event is all about messaging. The invite features Facebook’s Inbox/Messages icon used in its mobile phone applications. The invite also fea-

-tures a red and blue border similar to an airmail envelope.

Of course, an e-mail inbox isn’t the only possibility for a messaging-themed Facebook event (assuming the decorations on the invitation are actually hints). On Wednesday, GigaOm theorized that multiuser group chat will soon be integrated into Facebook’s smartphone applications. The technology blog didn’t mention Monday’s event as a possible launch date, only guessing multiuser chat will launch “within months.”

Facebook E-mail Equal Privacy Headache?

If Facebook Webmail is coming Monday, it will likely be welcomed by a large number of Facebook users. But a Facebook e-mail service is almost certain to cause concern among privacy advocates. Using Facebook for Webmail would put even more of your data in the hands of the social network. And the company would almost certainly mine your messages for keywords to better target advertising at you, similar to what Google’s Gmail does now.

There may also be concern that Facebook would control, and possibly block, e-mail messages flowing through its servers. In early 2009, torrent site The Pirate Bay introduced a new feature that let Facebook users send each other links to torrent files through Facebook’s Inbox messaging service. It didn’t take long before Facebook started blocking private messages containing torrent links, according to Wired . At the time, Facebook argued it had the right to block this content since the company forbids its members to use the service for unlawful purposes such as disseminating copyrighted material. Facebook can also be overly aggressive with its anti-spam filtering, which could hamper use of a Facebook e-mail service if you start sending too many e-mail messages at once.

Facebook will also have to convince users their e-mail won’t be locked into the social network’s Webmail client. The most obvious way to allay those concerns would be to provide POP and IMAP access allowing you to send and receive Facebook e-mail through a desktop client such as Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird.

But data portability is not Facebook’s strong suit, as the social network proved earlier this week during its fight with Google over Facebook’s refusal to let users export their friends’ contact information.

Then again, Facebook improved its attitude toward data portability in October when it launched an export tool that lets you download almost all of your Facebook data directly to your desktop.

Does Facebook Have E-mail Mojo?

Another question is whether Facebook can offer an e-mail service that has enough compelling features to compete with other popular Webmail services. Google’s Gmail, for example, is particularly innovative, offering handy features such as Priority Inbox, filtering and labels, keyboard shortcuts, voice calling and a recently revised and improved contacts manager. If Facebook offers a plain vanilla Webmail service that tries to boast of robust spam filtering as a user feature, then it may have a tough time convincing users to switch.

If Facebook does launch a Webmail service, it will certainly be good timing. Market research firm Gartner recently predicted that “20 percent of workers will use social networks as their primary vehicle for business communications by 2014.” Facebook e-mail would fit into that scenario perfectly.

I guess we’ll have to wait until Monday to see what Facebook has in store. In the meantime, you might want to get your Facebook Web address set-up just in case Facebook’s rumored e-mail addresses are automatically assigned by URL.

as said by Ian P

%d bloggers like this: