back to article Facebook set to unveil 'Gmail killer'

Facebook is hosting a press event in San Francisco on Monday, and the rumor is that the social networking giant will introduce its very own online email service. The invitation sent to The Reg indicates that Monday's event involves Facebook's on-site email-like "Inbox" tool — the invite includes the Inbox icon — and the word …


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  1. Fluffykins Silver badge

    Having your contacts list already in their hands

    makes life so much easier to pwn your data than all that messing about scraping your Outlook and Gmail address books.

    Google is bad enough but Facebook? No thanks.

    1. Charles Manning

      You are the product

      I am happy to go along with Google to the extent that I do because I consider the invasiveness:benefit ratio is in my favour.

      I tried Facebook for a while and found it pointless, thus the invasiveness:benefit ratio would be negative.

      There are many who define their whole being through facebook. Most likely they will find the idea of Facebook mail very compelling.

      Perhaps Facebook could buy MS's failed phone biz and actually make it work amongst the narcissists.

      1. Robin

        re: You are the product

        Good to see somebody else assessing things in terms of ratios too.

        Work = cash : effort

        Food = tastiness : effort peeling/opening etc

    2. Stewart Stevens

      Giving FB your email account

      I've always thought it was crazy how so many people accepted that it was all right to let facebook log in to their email service and acquire their contact lists / anything else. Then you see on your facebook page a list of your friends who have "found friends" using this method - encouraging you to join in the "fun". I think its a breach of trust. I'm not sure if it is within the terms of service of these email services - but it shouldn't be.

      I think if you mail then it is clear you are trusting person with the information and with the information. However we now have a situation where any person can be commonly expected to give away personal access to their account. You don't know who you are trusting any more and the flow of any meaningful information is stifled.

      1. dssf

        I brute-force logged joined fb WITHOUT giving them my gmail pwd

        I was livid and infuriated to the point of wanting to STRANGLE the decisionmakers at fb. How DARE they want my password. I would never know whether they would log in and out randomly for not only my accounts but also my messages.

        I'm still infurated that android sucks in ALL of my gmail contacts when i know some are dead-ends or one-off message contacts and some are just product related, but that a$$wads at google insists that it happens, and it appears the only ways to avoid it are to delete the contacts from the phone, which deletes them from the server, or just not let the phone synch from the server contact list anymore. Dumb and invasive, and infuriating.

        I am very sure i never gave fb my gmail pwd. I think i injected a bogus password some 10 times and i think the authentication/registration just gave up. For all i know, fb may have surreptitiously injected code into the browser to sniff pwds. Even if that is not true, it's probably best to change passwords as frequently as 3 months, or sooner so long as your memory is good.

  2. Robin Szemeti

    Good grief!

    If MS wasn't bad enough with its data leaks and exploits, allowing FB to sift through your emails is just crazy.

    I cannot think of a more frightening combination (OK, I can, but it involves mating a goat with a venemous snake, so not really likely to happen)

    You might as well paste your password on the bottom of all your mails ... like it or not FB will be sharing meta data from your mails with every marketeer on the planet.

    No Thanks.

    1. Magnus Ramage


      I read the last paragraph as "... sharing meta data from your mails with every meerkat on the planet". Which works as well.

  3. Bernard

    In general I fall into the 'not very paranoid' category

    In that I use both gmail and Facebook without worrying too much about dark dystopian consequences.

    But picking either of them to the exclusion of the other feels like a step too far in the power it would give them to build a monopoly and then lazily use it to stifle future innovation.

    That goes for Facebook email as much as for Google Wave or any future networking venture they may have.

  4. Il Midga di Macaroni

    If they want any market penetration at all...

    ... they'd better work on the reliability of their code. Facebook beats every piece of software I've ever worked with (bar one accounting package which had just been hastily recoded - shoddily - to handle networks, back when they were a novel concept) for the sheer pervasiveness of its weird bugs and inconsistencies. I've never actually lost data, but I've been given false-negative notifications of its existence countless times.

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward



      1. Mike Flugennock
        Thumb Up

        Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

        Yes, we have a winner.

        What he said.

        That is all.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    I don't think so...

    So, when you receive an e-mail via your new FB e-mail account...everyone in your network reads it as well.

    Until they make yet another privacy fix. LOL!

    1. Bugs R Us

      You're missing the point

      That level of messaging is already there in FB, it's called the Wall. Millions, half a billion in fact, everyday post messages to each other on their walls. Most conversations are one to one even though the users know that other people can read what is being posted. It doesn't seem to stop people doing it. If you don't mind airing your laundry in public then it really doesn't matter who reads what. If you want pirvacy, use the telephone (as long as you don't mind the Eschelon analysts at GCHQ listening in on your whine about privacy).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And probably still

      be available when your prospective new boss googles you

  7. Anonymous Coward

    share button in first incarnation ?

    What are the odds ? being able to share viruses, spam, false virus alerts, pictures of kittens in amusing positions not only with FB friends but every associated email account = a mass explosion in useless, dangerous information and the malware writer's wet dream.

    Based on the six degrees of separation principle I expect to have Bill Gates, Paris Hilton's and Steve Job's email addresses, location, phone numbers, event calander and personal family photos/ videos within a week of launch. I'll just get my coat, it's the stalking jacket.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Malware writer's wet dream...?

      Philip Clarke sez:

      "What are the odds ? being able to share viruses, spam, false virus alerts, pictures of kittens in amusing positions not only with FB friends but every associated email account = a mass explosion in useless, dangerous information and the malware writer's wet dream."

      Two words: Macintosh. Linux.

      That is all.

  8. LRonHorse

    OMG - FB Mail!!!???

    If their mail is as reliable as their chat or, well, just about anything FB you care to name, you won't be having many conversations.

    Never really had any problems with GMail - just seems to work.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Face Book Emails??????

    Hmmmmmm Google - I dunno. I don't like them, trust them but the product works well - especially when compared to Microsoft and Yahoo email services...

    But Facebook email?

    Why would I want an "open inbox" for an email account? And why would I want to be able to read everyone else in the worlds email as well?

    Close your Facebook account - as in DELETE, shut down, terminate custom, stop, end, wipe, close, stop using?

    Hey just give them your email address and it, and every fucking thing you have ever done on that service - is straight up on the web again.

    So much for a Face Book Email Service...


  10. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Oh please

    Does the world need yet another webmail provider?

    Do something different, create something new and exciting.

  11. 7mark7
    Thumb Down

    Facebook e-mail users ...

    ... dumb.f*

  12. Bugs R Us
    Thumb Up

    Beware the privacy trolls

    Here we go. Wah wah wah, Facebook has my data, wah wah wah. Don't you it if you don't like it. Facebook email was inevitable. At least the good news is that it will probably have good integration with Office tools. I just hope they implement ExchangeSync support and HTTP-RPC for Outlook. With Windows Live Messenger now being able to IM with FB's instant messaging and now email, things are looking good for FB.

    I for one would love to see MS buy FB. Over half a billion FB users are locked into using it now, it would be a massive win for MS against Google.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down



  14. Anonymous Coward

    More theft

    Given Zucherbergs penchant for stealing, it's not like this should be a big surprise.

  15. Steve Evans

    Yeah, right...

    I think they already know too much, I think I'll stick with separate accounts thanks.

    Plus of course hotmail/gmail et al don't go fiddling with their sites every couple of days and break things, The example the notifications list hasn't worked on facebook mobile for at least they last few days.

  16. Elmer Phud

    Yet another email account

    So Facebook are going to give me another email account.

    I've got loads already - I use some purely for when you have to register to get in to a site (no, not those sorts of sites) and for adverts I might want to see now and then - the incoming spam keeps the account alive.

    I guess it'll come in handy, I could use it to set up another Faceache account.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Two counts of failure

    One: Facebook "developers" cannot program to save their life. Riddled with bugs, easy ways to alternatively access data that claims to be private, etc.. I am confident Facebook will completely fail at creating an e-mail system that even works (does anyone remember how long it took before chat actually successfully sent messages??)

    Two: if you're worried about Google knowing everything about you, you should be more worried about Facebook TELLING THE WORLD about you! There's an entirely different scale of privacy issue between Google and Facebook (who, as per point number one, couldn't keep anything secret even if they wanted to).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Chat successfully sends messages for you?

      I know it's come on leaps and bounds in reliability since it came out, but it's really still more at the level of MSN in about 2001. I certainly wouldn't say it successfully sends messages, not if you want to depend on them getting there

  18. Nya


    MS can't integrate apps with Hotmail as it's "too secure" now, so they've moved to using Facebook. Well at least they won't have that issue anymore!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    The sad thing is...

    ... this will probably be extremely popular.

    It's all very well for us to knowingly tut-tut about the inevitable privacy issues, the wailing when someone's account is terminated, and so forth, but out in the real world where people don't worry about these things until they are too late. Marketing and bling win every time.

    In this way the Facebook and Apple fans are very similar - and the marketing companies behind them are similarly successful. Style and being part of the crowd makes users happy.

    What we need to remember is that marketing, as a profession, has been around an awful lot longer than computing, and will win out most times. We IT folks have a lot of catching up to do.

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Anonymous Coward

    God Help Us...

    .... if its ass bug ridden and broken as their API and their platform which is a complete mess.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Couldn't agree more!

      Everything they do is half arsed and the site itself is up and down like the proverbial whores-drawers. Putting aside the obvious joke of having 'real' personal data in their hands, theres no way I'd rely on Facebook for a highly available email service.

  22. rlro

    Its just inappropriate

    Personally I have absolutely no desire to link my facebook life with my professional/family one in any way. I'd surely end up being "friends" with people that really have no concern with my private(ish) life... and that is not likely to be helpful.

  23. E 2

    Not a chance

    Facebook plays loose with privacy - would you trust your email to it?

  24. Doug 3

    will they be fair

    I've noticed that they seem to be delaying email notifications of fb activity and so I wonder if they will be fair with incoming email as well. How badly they have not handled implementing security tell me they're really not mature enough to start playing with email yet.

  25. JaitcH

    At least Google has some integrity; Facebook has none!

    Given the history of breached security, pure selling of private data Facebook is a place to avoid. I get really mad when idiots I'm acquainted with gives Facebook one of my e-mail addresses.

    As for Zuckerberg, he must be one of the most amoral characters in US business. Hookers usually are honest enough to admit what they are: Zuckerberg can't/doesn't/won't.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Facebook identity

    If Facebook can relieve you of a vanity URL, they can do the same with an email address.

  27. Antti Roppola

    AOL 2.0 - Welcome to the Walled Garden

    This is really serious stuff. FB has a success factor that AOL, MS and Google never had; an outright majority. The critical mass of population held by FB means that unlike anyone else, they can potentially play the exclusion game and get away with it.

    Run it just like GMail for now; free, easy and convenient. Progressively make transfer to and from the Internet more flakey and always blame the other party. Maybe put alarming security warnings on email arriving from outside the walled garden. Make external operability a real pain so there's peer pressure for non-believers to get with it and create their own FB email account. I don't think they'd entirely exclude external email, but keep enough support for external email to ward off monopoly accuasations. You want to reach 90% of the world's online population that matter? You'll need Mark's permission.

    What's scary is that 99.9% of FB users won't care at all as long as they can get their amusing pictures of cats.

  28. Doug Glass

    Using Facebook email is like .....

    .... peeing in public. Everybody will size you up and know your secrets. Not to mention giggling and laughing.

  29. Mike Richards

    Non-Facebook users

    Bearing in mind the company's erm - unconventional - approach to respecting consumer privacy. I'm not sure I want *anything* to do with anyone who has a Facebook email account. I don't use Facebook and I don't want anything to do with them. But if I reply to an email sent from one of their accounts; I'd fully expect them to start mining it, acquiring and misusing information about me.

    So I'll be adding a general Facebook email address rule to my blacklist.

  30. Deadly_NZ

    facebook e-mail



    And I SUPPOSE THEY WILL HAVE THE USUAL PORUS SECURITY supplied by collander antivirus , tyre and haircare shop....

    beer its been a hard wekend

  31. Taters


    I'm not one of those people to harp on about privacy this and that, but this really scares me. Next thing you know you'll be able to get badges for sending different emails! "Tom sent an email to marry containing a message about an embarrassing sexual disease!

    This could be really quite bad, but on the bright side, hopefully, I can get people's resumes off the hire list if this as at the top of it :)

  32. JDX Gold badge


    Personal data issues aside, I can't see anyone creating a gmail "killer", mail & search are the two best products Google made.

    Facebook email might well be very popular, just for the convenience - but I'm skeptical it will be great.

    Is there any reason FB is so keen to team up with MS? After all FB is for 'cool' young people, but those are not a demographic who love MS. I can see MS wanting to tap into FB, but why t'other way around? Just money?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1/2billion can be wrong


  34. Matt Hawkins

    Email? I thought that was dead?

    Facebook-fanboys keep telling me Facebook has replaced email.

    So why is Facebook creating its own email system? Sort of looks like Facebook hasn't replaced email after all !

  35. Lottie


    I often feel that if something is hailed as the <insert fancy item here> killer, it's makers aren't behind it enough to just release it on its own.

    If it were so good, it wouldn't need to be in competition, it'd just wipe the competition out.

  36. envmod


    any product or service called an "<insert popular product name> killer" is almost definitely going to be a spectacular failure.

  37. Wize

    Caught in a loop

    To get a Facebook email address, you'll probably need a Facebook account.

    To get a Facebook account, you'll need an email address. You could use your facebook email address, but...

  38. Law

    *hears choir singing radiohead's Creep*

    Is this the sequel?!

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get Real...


    I understand the paranoia/privacy concerns, but this is no bad thing. We already have a chosen username for logging into facebook or to send people as a - this is the next logical step, a single place to get all your messages, and most of the smartphones already have a facebook app which alerts to new messages.

    Facebook has changed the world, deal with it.

    blah blah blah...

    If you want privacy, stop using your debit card, your credit card, your tesco clubcard, mobile phone, THE INTERNET.

  40. Tom 13

    I guess they never will figure this out.

    I want my OS vendor to be my OS vendor, my mail vendor to be my mail vendor, and my social networking vendor to be my social networking vendor. And I want all three of them to be DIFFERENT vendors. I'm willing to let the all compete to sell me software, but for these different services, I WANT different vendors.

    Seems simple enough to me. Don't know why they can't figure it out.

  41. John 62


    but where will a address fall on the Oatmeal's chart of email domain/personality type identification?

  42. Jamie Kitson


    I'm beginning to regret my choice of handle... mardybumhead indeed.

  43. whats the point of kenny lynch?

    yep, it will be big

    i've said it before....

    facebook is the biggest threat to google and microsoft. you may not like or trust them, but joe public loves facebook and will use it for messaging, creating/storing documents, images, music etc etc..

    this is just the tip of the iceberg and microsoft would be wise to snuggle a little closer to them if they really want to defeat google.

  44. Scott 39

    Alarmist Tripe

    It is apparent from both the spewing misinformation about how Facebook works and the apocalyptic alarmism that the majority of posters don't actually use Facebook.

    This won't end the online world as we know it.

    Virtually all of the implications made here about how Facebook works are false.

    I use Facebook. I don't, gasp, share or post things that I am not comfortable sharing. What a concept! I don't friend people whose comments I do not want on my wall. Wow! I don't set my privacy to allow strangers to see my posts. I, despite my intentional exclusion of coworkers, would not be the least bit concerned if the president of our company read every tidbit in my Facebook account. That's because I don't do stupid things and then blame others when it doesn't work out. I am, however, continually amazed at how the product has reconnected me to family and friends that I simply haven't had time to keep in touch with over the decades. I have a busy life. I don't spend excessive time online. Yet, my life is much, much richer for having used this product. The ease with which this has happened is the killer feature. Now, with the smart phone making it that much easier, it is perfect for me. And no, I am not vapid, self absorbed, arrogant, or exhibitionist. I spend my time in the real world. I understand the technical nature of the product. I understand the privacy implications. It is a tool.

    I don't plan to use FB email. If sufficient numbers of friends, family, and colleagues use it, and there are compelling tie-ins to make it useful, I may use it after all. If it is a dumbed down and restrictive product, I probably won't. That's my objection to the iphone and gmail's conversation view, after all.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's about time

    Now I'll have an email addy that's even more douchey (ie hipstery) than my gmail.

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