Home / Blogs

Facebook + email = Facebook

J.D. Falk

Remember when Gmail launched in 2004, and everyone said it was going to kill Hotmail, Yahoo!, and AOL? Six years later, and this chart shows pretty clearly that while gmail has grown, only AOL's pageviews have fallen. The rest have held fairly steady.

So what's everyone freaking out about?

Perhaps it's that Facebook email will be Facebook first and email second. Facebook + email = Facebook.

In other words: their social model, however flawed, will apply.

In other other words: no more spam, unless the recipient has opted in first.

WAIT! STOP IT RIGHT THERE! If the idea of an opt-in-only world scares you, you're thinking like a marketer and not like a user — or actually you're thinking like a bad marketer, because the good marketers always think about what their recipients are thinking.

For users — actual human beings who receive and send and use email — this could be the coolest messaging feature since threading (except that most users still don't have actual threading.)

And there'll still be a place for marketers to do what they do; Facebook has shown again and again that they'll happily sell their users' data to whoever wants it. Users "like" your page or whatever it takes to opt in to receive your messages, and Facebook will sell you stats on whether they read it or not, how long they spent looking at it, whether or not they were wearing pants at the time — whatever you can imagine, and lots that you don't want to.

This will be absolutely amazing for the many modern marketers who have no scruples about collecting ever-more-intrusive formerly-private data about people, and potentially life-destroying for the many marketers who have no scruples about spamming people. But why is anyone surprised? This is 2010, not 1995. The world has changed. Facebook qualms aside, the idea of using a user's social graph to keep their inbox clean has been around for years.

My guess — not knowing anything more than anyone else at this point — is that we'll finally get to try it out.

By J.D. Falk, Internet Standards and Governance. More blog posts from J.D. Falk can also be read here.

Related topics: Email, Privacy

WEEKLY WRAP — Get CircleID's Weekly Summary Report by Email:


well, turns out I was wrong J.D. Falk  –  Nov 15, 2010 12:23 PM PDT

Facebook's new messaging system is even less like email than I'd expected.  It's much more like Google Wave, only without any of the cool collaboration features.

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News


Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Hybrid Cloud Proves Clouds Are Worthy of Email Infrastructure

Afilias Supports the CrypTech Project - Ambitious Hardware Encryption Effort to Protect User Privacy

Non-English "IDN Email" Addresses Are Finally Working!

New from Verisign Labs - Measuring Privacy Disclosures in URL Query Strings

Verisign Named to the OTA's 2014 Online Trust Honor Roll

MarkMonitor Named a Top Trusted Website in OTA's 2013 Online Trust Honor Roll

A Look Inside Dyn's 1.2 Billion Monthly Email Delivery Statistics

Dyn to Host Email Analytics Webinar With Ongage

Dyn Adds Claudia Santoro, Dave Connors and Andrew Sullivan to Technical Team

Dyn Receives $38M Investment from North Bridge

Neustar Names Becky Burr as its Chief Privacy Officer

Dyn Releases New Powerhouse in Enterprise Class Email Delivery

Global Company Leads the Pack as One of the First Microsoft Partners to Offer Exchange 2010

Dyn Inc. Acquires Email Delivery Provider SendLabs

Afilias and .JO Registry Bring Native Language E-mail to Arabic Internet Users

Preventing Your DNS Account from Being Hacked

MarkMonitor AntiFraud Solutions, Combining Proven Antiphishing and Expert Antimalware Capabilities

MarkMonitor AntiFraud Solutions Combine Proven Antiphishing and Expert Antimalware Capabalities

Spam Arrest Chooses UltraDNS to Enhance Service Delivery

Hostway's New WhoisProtector Lite Protects Your Online Identity

Sponsored Topics



Sponsored by

DNS Security

Sponsored by


Sponsored by


Sponsored by
Minds + Machines

Top-Level Domains

Sponsored by
Minds + Machines