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Facebook messaging system: Brilliant idea or privacy concern?

By Melissa Bell


Update: It's not email, folks. It's better than email. So sayeth the Facebook CEO. The "modern messaging system" will create a seamless messaging experience between the phone, email, and instant messages; it will recognize which emails are more important than others, based on your interaction with the sender; and it will keep a running conversation history that crosses all platforms.

The messaging system will be rolled out in the next few weeks. The Post's Rob Pegoraro has a full recap up of Facebook's announcement.

11:00 a.m.

Though it isn't definite yet, most tech insiders are betting Monday's Facebook announcement at 1 p.m. will be about a Facebook mail service. It will rival Google, Yahoo and MSN e-mail vendors but will also be tightly integrated with Facebook. Users will likely not have to leave their Facebook pages to send and receive e-mails. This could mean trouble for Facebook rivals, as the social networking giant already breaks the records for nearly every Web metric (time spent, traffic, news dissemination, display ads, etc.).

While some users may be excited to embrace a mail service on Facebook and quit with their e-mail providers that are chock-full of Facebook notifications, others may not be ready to give Facebook access to their mail service, thus handing over another piece of their personal life to a social network dogged by privacy complaints.

@washingtonpost I'm definitely not using a e-mail service by #Facebook, it's not professional & I can't rely on it to be safe/very private!less than a minute ago via web

@washingtonpost I'm going to wait till 1 p.m. before I make the call. #Facebook wouldn't do this if they didn't have some plan to woo us.less than a minute ago via web

@washingtonpost I'm unlikely to switch to #Facebook email in part b/c FB too often changes in user unfriendly waysless than a minute ago via Mobile Web

Tell us what you think about the Facebook mail service with #fbemail.

By Melissa Bell  | November 15, 2010; 11:01 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Like many people, especially in Washington DC, I am keen to keep my Facebook world and my e-mail world distinct. E-mail is for communications that are either more serious (read: work related) or intimate (read: gooshy messages) than what is appropriate for Facebook. And even if there were no concerns about inadvertent information slop, from a matter of focus I think it's prudent to keep boundaries in place.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 15, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

It may be a brilliant idea for all those not concerned about their privacy. But for me, its a huge privacy concern. Facebook doesnt give us privacy so why will their email be any different? My emails are too personal for them to be on Facebook's servers and there is no way I'm using Facebook to email. Instead, I have deactivated Facebook account and will join safer social networking platforms such as MyCube our Diaspora as soon as they release

Posted by: clarkwalker | November 16, 2010 2:19 AM | Report abuse

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