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Facebook to Launch Mail Service to Rival Gmail?

David Gilbert by

Facebook to Launch Mail Service to Rival Gmail?

That Mark Zuckerberg is a funny guy. A week ago, at the last Facebook press conference, he confounded most tech journalists by not announcing a Facebook Phone and instead launched something a lot less exciting. It was called Deals or something. It wasn’t that interesting!

So you’d imagine following that pronouncement – along with claiming the iPad wasn’t mobile – Zuckerberg would retreat to Facebook towers to count his millions (or is it billions?) for a couple of months. But what’s this? Another Facebook press conference within two weeks – surely there’s something big afoot.

If we look at the press invite to the event in San Francisco next Monday, November 15th, there is a subtle hint that the pronouncement could well have something to do with messaging. (We’re very perceptive here at TrustedReviews.)

So Project Titan, Facebook’s much-rumoured email client (and supposed Gmail-killer) is the most obvious announcement to be made - though you can never really tell with that crazy Zuckerberg fellow. If however, Facebook does announce an email program as an attempt to rival Gmail, will it succeed?

Google’s dominance of the email market is huge. It is constantly updating its software and adding new innovations to make the email experience as pleasurable as possible. But is email a thing of the past?

Most Facebook users (and there are quite a few of them) do their messaging directly within Facebook as it is. No longer is there the need for the formality of an email when a message posted on someone’s wall will do. Obviously for business, email is still vital but for the casual user, would they not rather have their email account directly within their Facebook account?

The lure of an @facebook.com account would surely entice some people away from Gmail but for the vast majority of people Facebook and email are separate things for the moment and Project Titan could struggle to find a foothold in the market. In time though, with new Facebook accounts automatically getting an @facebook.com email address, it could prove a viable competitor for Google.

Of course all this is complete speculation and we will have to wait until about 6pm our time on Monday to see if Zuckerberg has something interesting to say. Rest assured though we will have the news here first at TrutedReviews.

Go to comments

Hallainzil

November 12, 2010, 4:36 pm

If they launch it, my money goes on Google making it very difficult to import your mail to an @facebook.com account.

Hamish Campbell

November 12, 2010, 5:40 pm

Maybe it's a phone.

David Gilbert

November 12, 2010, 7:00 pm

@Haim yeah it's probably a phone....





@hallainzil indeed, Facebook and Google just don't seem to be getting on at the moment. Why can't we all just get along.

DevGuy

November 12, 2010, 7:23 pm

I wouldn't use facebook for mail if it came with a free Ferrari! (okay, maybe I would) I don't trust them with the little data they have of mine as it is.

Lantic

November 12, 2010, 7:56 pm

Given their lamentable efforts at data protection, I'd be seriously worried about the contents of my Facebook emails (Facemails?) being sold to 3rd parties. I know Google are not the best when it comes to data snooping and retention, but Facebook makes them seem positively angelic in comparison. I'll stick with what I have thanks.

Vivid

November 12, 2010, 8:49 pm

I'm going to echo the sentiments of DevGuy and Lantic on this one. There is no way that I would trust Facebook with my data.





I'll bet you that Zuckerberg's next conference is from a hollowed out volcano and that he'll be stroking a white cat when he adresses you.

Tim Sutton

November 12, 2010, 8:53 pm

@Lantic (Ha!)





Femails?

Jayboy

November 12, 2010, 9:14 pm

Between facebook and google you might as well post your life story and surfing habits on a bulletin board!

Jay Chambers

November 12, 2010, 9:25 pm

Facebook's 'Titan' could be a real game changer - there is no denying that.





I have written about some of the great things we could expect from 'Titan', including a more social inbox - but also written about the 'cons' such as spam concerns stemming from facebook profile names and more.





http://jyml.me/9tqyny





Hope you enjoy,


Jay

rav

November 13, 2010, 1:23 am

I would have thought the whole point of Facebook messaging is that it keeps you visiting Facebook.com and seeing their ads.





If they introduce proper email you could just use a mail client and stop visiting the site.

James Reckitt

November 13, 2010, 2:09 am

I'd be very surprised if they merged their email service AND facebook - when you sign up for facebook they want an email address to send validation info to for your facebook account. If you merge the two, it encourages people to have a secondary account with, say, Gmail just so they can have some sort of safeguard in the interest of security. This would eliminate any possibility of it killing Gmail simply because accounts from other providers will be required to provide even a basic level of security to users.





Also bear in mind that many employers, schools etc. have the facebook domain filtered to "maintain high productivity levels" - how will people access their brand spanking new email account if it's filtered? Solution: keep the two separate, on different domains - mail on, say, facebookmail.com, which, coincidentally, currently forwards you to facebook.





Having said that, it wouldn't surprise me if they let us all down by simply adding email functionality to their current (and frankly rather basic) "Messages" facility, which nobody uses, and called it a day.





Besides, I doubt I'd *want* to have a facebook branded email address. Gmail comes across as professional; facebook comes across as a bit...casual. Include support for custom domains (like Google Apps) and they'll be there.





I agree with @rav also - without ad support it won't make them any profit, meaning it will be completely browser-based. Disappointing for Outlook/Thunderbird addicts like myself.

jingyeow

November 13, 2010, 6:13 pm

Email isn't just email anymore. The reason I use gmail, is because of the near seamless way it ties together, calendars, maps, gmail contacts etc...





Facebook doesn't have the services that tie into email...and it seems to be heading for an over-expansion without the necessary support growing at the same pace..

JK

November 14, 2010, 12:46 am

@Lantic - Facemail...I doubt it. Wouldn't that be a voicemail left by using the Facetime function on an iPhone 4...=D

Peter

November 14, 2010, 5:30 pm

For how long has www.fb.com routed to www.facebook.com ? The Who.is records say it was updated 12/11/10

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