Facebook has just announced that they will be entering the webmail arena and offer a free email service to Facebook users. It will immediately put Facebook into direct battle with Yahoo Mail, Gmail, AOL Mail, and Hotmail. Many promises were made about Facebook’s new messaging service (they don’t wish to call it “email”), including integration with SMS and chat history. Their implementation remains to be seen as they deploy it in the upcoming months, however the following are a number of reasons why their email could be very compelling compared to the other players in the webmail space.
How many times have you met someone you wanted to get in touch with later, but you didn’t catch their email or number. The problem could be easily solved with Facebook. There’s a strong likelihood they are already in your social network. As long as the individual you’re looking for hasn’t locked down their Facebook profile, looking them up is nothing more than a simple search amongst your friends. With the older systems, you’d be out of luck.
In addition, with older webmail systems, you still have to input or build up your contact lists within their system. Facebook effectively solves it, because your contact list is effectively done already.
Reducing Spam and Unwanted Email
Related to the above, Facebook has a significant advantage over the older webmail systems due to the database of contacts you have and your social network. There is a clear advantage they have to eliminating not just spam, but just plain any unwanted e-mail. In the other systems, without a full list of contacts that you trust, there is a limit to what e-mail they can and cannot filter. On Facebook, it wouldn’t be hard to determine the network of people you trust to contact you and only let those e-mails through.
Your News Feed is Already Email
It wasn’t long ago that your friends would email you links, photos, or articles that they thought you might find interesting. Nowadays, you can just post it on your Facebook Wall or share it on your News Feed, and it’s all taken care of. If there are certain sets of photos or articles you only want to share with certain friends, the integration of your email and News Feed could be seamless and a great feature.
You’re Already There
Let’s face it, you’re on Facebook so often already, it’s just natural and easier to have your email there with you too.
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Jay Yarow, “Facebook Unveils Its New Messaging System”, BusinessInsider