Facebook announced Monday that it is building a full-fledged e-mail system into its 500-million-member-strong social network. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new e-mail offering, which the company says will be introduced to users over the next couple months.
Zuckerberg announced a unified messaging system called Facebook Messages that blends e-mail, Facebook messages, SMS, and chat into a “modern messaging service.” Facebook’s 500 million users will be able to get an @Facebook.com e-mail address that will allow them to communicate within and outside the Facebook network.
Now users won’t have to leave Facebook to send e-mail to their friends, but rather click a new e-mail link in Facebook to compose and send messages. The messaging offering has been created from the ground up and is not just an improvement of Facebook’s existing limited Messaging system.
“We can do things that will help you see the e-mails that really matter on top. It’s a similar algorithm used with the news feed to put the most important people and content on top,” Zuckerberg says.
With the ability to communicate with people outside the Facebook system, Facebook will be capturing e-mail addresses and other information that didn’t already exist on its servers. Zuckerberg acknowledges this, but says that information is being captured to make the messaging tool smarter and easier to use. He denies that the information collected via Facebook’s messaging platform will be used to target ads, or shared with advertisers or marketers, or made accessible to Facebook app makers.
Do you think this idea will change the way people communicate with each-other? Will this be revolutionary? Tell us in the comments!