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Facebook Icon. Image Source: Facebook.

On Monday Nov. 15, 2010, Facebook announced that it will have a new addition to their social media services: email. This has got the internet world talking. What will the platform be like and what will it be capable of? Will Facebook take over the internet? Will it be successful? Will it usurp the current free email services of choice?

Facebook’s email service will be one of its many new upcoming communication tools. It’s significant because the social media site will try to capture a huge part of the market, especially one that is dominated by Microsoft and Google.

The company claims to have 500 million users and more than 10 billion hours logged by users on its site. This is a huge market already using their products and it would be quite easy for their users to simply add an extra element to their already subscribed services. It seems as though Facebook is trying to take over the entire web since it already has messaging, social networking. The new emails will have an “@facebook.com” address that matches their public username.

Three main features will include:

1.      Seamless messaging – this integrates SMS, email or IM into one function

2.      History – allowing users to see all messages from one source as one long conversation

3.       Social inbox – filters messages by source or preference

Craig Newmark of Craiglist has noted some major advantages to Facebook email. He noted that one of the upsides of Facebook email is that “a Facebook identity (profile) pretty much ensures that there’s a real person behind it. It’s possible to fake a Facebook identity, but it’s a fair amount of work, way more expensive than getting a new gmail or hotmail account.” Spammers will have more difficulty since they will not have to create Facebook identities to spend out spam. The email could also have different level of priority so that your nearest and dearest will have higher email priority than strangers.

But of course, there will be downsides like spam attacks and virus that can be spread much more quickly through huge networks like that of Facebook.

The email will be coming out in the upcoming months and by invite-only. Facebook states that this is not like your typical email services, instead, it is an integrated system. This has got other email providers rightly scared. Whether it will take over the internet universe is anybody’s guess, but it’s something that will be analyzed and scrutinized very carefully by users and businesses alike.

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