Facebook E-mail Is Going Social

As a one stop shop, Facebook have plans to introduce a messaging system that includes e-mail, chat, SMS and Facebook Messages. This will be combined in a single inbox which pulls all four conversations into one place and allow users to reply back in any way they want.

It's called the "social inbox" where Facebook will also prioritise the message order based on friends you will be most interested in. This will be measured by using information Facebook knows about you, your friends and their friends.

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg told reporters "maybe we can help push the way people do messaging more towards this simple, real time, immediate personal experience. E-mail is still really important to a lot of people. We think this simple messaging is how people will shift their communication". The new system will be modelled more on a chat system than traditional email, so there will be no subject lines, cc or bcc fields. Also, without having to leave Facebook, the new platform will allow users to open Microsoft Office documents or have Microsoft's software locally installed. Will this see people pull away from using traditional e-mail? As a fast evolving area, search engine giants such as Google and Yahoo will have to think of something soon to counteract this new social e-mail platform. But as an avid Gmail user, hearing people call it as a “Gmail killer” sounded a little unsettling to me. On top of Gmail, I also have multiple email accounts which are used for different purposes. However the big advantage to Facebook email is convenience. All my friends are on Facebook, and I use private messaging through the inbox quite a lot. But trying to totally convert me to use it as my fixed e-mail? It’s going to take a lot for Facebook to convert me. Will you compete to secure your @facebook.com email address?

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