Facebook email? Nah, bigger than that

The rumours are true, sort of: Facebook is launching an email service. Except that, apparently, it's 'more than' email.

This is a bit confusing, so listen up. Essentially, Facebookwants to integrate all your email accounts, Facebook messages, Chats, Updates from Pages, and even your text messages into one gigantic messagy melange. (Look it up - ed.)

What does this mean? For starters, if a friend sends you a Facebook message when you're online, it'll automatically pop up in a Chat window. (This'll work if you're using Facebook Chat through an external client like Digsby, too). You can also divert your personal email account to Facebook, and you'll contact friends through Facebook or email depending on some magic formulas Facebook aren't giving you too many details on. Your messages will then be filtered according to your 'social graph,' so you'll see messages from people you like in one view and messages from Pages, strangers and events in another (fewer annoying messages from events you haven't RSVP'd to! Yay!).

If friends have activated Facebook SMS, or they've got the iPhone or Android app, you'll also be able to message them right away even if they're not using the site.

Oh and, as well as using your Gmail or whatever account with the system, you can also get an @facebook.com email address. It'll be the same as your username for your profile, so if you haven't nabbed your name yet, now's the time to hit up facebook.com/username to grab it.

So: what does it all mean? To be honest, we're not sure. It looks, potentially, very powerful, but we think many people'll think twice before locking yet more of their social life into the big blue Book. But if people do become reliant on it, it'll make it almost impossible to leave the site.

Whatever it all means, we won't find out for a little while yet. Facebook is rolling out the new service 'over the next few months.'

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2022