Facebook Gearing Up To Take On Gmail

If there is anything that people haven’t stopped complaining about since the inception of Facebook – Nope, it’s not the new goats and farms that keep popping up on your home page – it would be the messaging service on Facebook. Things as simple as deleting messages is as grueling as grating your own finger. While it has been given some face-lifts over time, like adding a search functionality that only somewhat works and organizing series of messages in a single thread but it is still a far cry from being anything but a necessary evil.

Ask any Facebook user and you will find out how they have hundreds upon hundreds of unread messages that they don’t even bother to read or even delete.

Facebook New Homepage

Facebook New Homepage

The latest Face-lift that Facebook received on its 6th birthday was really telling about how they intend to  handle their notifications and messages. They have streamlined their design and created an area that has all your notifications instead of splattering it all over the screen.

They have also adjusted their side bar by making it actually reflect information about pending invitations and messages rather than just being labels for other pages. This goes a long way towards creating a better user experience for all the facebookers of the world but they even have bigger and bolder plans for the future of messaging on Facebook.

With the latest revamp of the homepage, people caught a whiff of what the Facebook team is cooking up . They are working on completely rewriting their messaging service and it smells yummy. They are creating a fully fledged webmail client with POP/IMAP support with the email address being your vanityurl@facebook.com.

Internally it’s called the Titan project but it has been unofficially dubbed the Gmail Killer. The prospect of integrating a webmail client into Facebook opens the door to many prospects and loosens up the monopoly of having to access Facebook in order to interact with it. Using it as a webmail client will possibly allow people to reply to their messages and wall posts from their Blackberries and maybe updating their status with an email. While all those prospects will be great to have in Facebook, it will not set it up for success.

Facebook-Wave? Mashable's idea back in October...

Facebook-Wave? Mashable's idea back in October...

The reason that sets up this webmail client to move forward and succeed is mainly because Facebook is already in the business of communication. Facebook is like the biggest address book in the world, with over 350 million users, where you can practically get in touch with whoever you want! This banishes limitations created by Facebook messages since you will also be able to email them. Expanding the usage of email from being just for your contacts into a tool to connect to anyone in the world. This on its own might attract more users to Facebook just to have access to this utility, to use it simply as a webmail client rather than a social media platform which is also great for Facebook.

This will push Facebook from being the place where you socialize to being the place where you do almost everything you need to do on the net. Your email will no longer be just an address for people to get in touch with you, it will be your website, resume, and business card all tucked into one Identity. Now let’s hope they also implement a new filter that will vaporize all those damn Farmville updates from my profile.

So what are your thoughts about Facebook being your new email host? Do you see it succeeding in usurping Gmail from its webmail throne? Let us hear your thoughts.

Comments and Reactions

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    Although I like the idea of Facebook intent to create an overall integration of services so, in a way, it could be a one-stop-shop, I think trying to be specialized in too many things can actually lead to broken promises and even more privacy concerns.

  • http://twitter.com/RobaAssi Roba Al-Assi

    I think this will work really well for them. There are many people who don't need the internet for anything beyond FB and email.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/2010/02/quarky-news-of-the-web-feb-2010.html Quarky News of the Web — Feb 2010 | Thoughtpick Blog

    [...] Feb 2010 While news like the new Google Buzz, the new Facebook interface and soon to come mailing system dominate the headlines, there are always smaller headlines that tend to go unnoticed. They are the [...]

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com James Smith

    My advice to all Facebook users. Take back your life and a large part of your privacy. Dump Facebook and all other “Social networks.” Their main purpose seems to be to gather information on you so it can be sold to the highest bidder.

    You have to have lived in a cave, maybe of your own making, to not see this. But it’s easier to believe, unthinking and uncaring, than to have a real life.

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