Did you get the message? Facebook to shutter its email service

Few likely to be disappointed since not many used @Facebook.com

Facebook will shutter its email service next month, and it's likely that not many people will even notice.

In what may be one of Facebook's first failures, the social media company said in an email to Computerworld Tuesday that it has begun notifying email users that the service is ending.

The service will be shut down and users' emails will be redirected to their alternate email address by early to mid-March.

Facebook had a simple problem with its email service: Not enough people were using it. The company did not respond to a question on how many people use the email service.

"This reminds me of that old saw about a tree falling in the forest," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. "If a tech service that no one knows about goes away, does it make a noise? In this case, not much of one, no."

In the fall of 2010, Facebook unveiled what CEO Mark Zuckerberg called a "modern messaging system" -- one that encompassed e-mail, instant messages, Facebook messages and SMS. Facebook was looking to move all of these different styles of communication under one social umbrella.

The move gave users a chance to have a facebook.com e-mail address.

Zuckerberg noted at the time that more than 4 billion messages were sent every day on Facebook, with the vast majority of them between two people. He said he started thinking about those numbers after talking with a group of high school students who told him that they rarely used e-mail.

And then come to found out, those students were part of a trend. People didn't use the email service that Facebook developed to bring them in.

"By the time Facebook became popular, pretty much everyone had email, plus plenty of free email services available," Olds said. "In fact, I wonder if there are more people still using @AOL.com than currently use @facebook.com."

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said shutting down the email service is a big failure for Facebook, but it won't hurt the company because there won't be many disappointed users.

"If you're not failing, it means you're not trying hard enough," he said, explaining that big, successful companies have to take chances.

Olds agreed that closing down email won't hurt Facebook.

"You can't hit home runs, or even singles, every time at bat," said Olds. "Facebook has definitely struck out when it comes to email services, but that's OK. It doesn't really impact any of their other lines of business."

This article, Did you get the message? Facebook to shutter its email service, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Read more about social media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

3 marketing mistakes to overcome when courting prospective customers

Marketing that urges respondents to ‘buy now’ is a little like asking someone to marry you on your first date. At any time, only 3 per cent of the market is looking for what you’re selling, so the chances of your date randomly being ‘The One’ is pretty slim.

Sabri Suby

Founder, King Kong

Why are we dubious about deep learning?

The prospect of deep learning gives those of us in the industry something to get really excited about, and something to be nervous about, at the same time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Why you can’t afford to fail at CX in 2019

In 1976 Apple launched. The business would go on to change the game, setting the bar for customer experience (CX). Seamless customer experience and intuitive designs gave customers exactly what they wanted, making other service experiences pale in comparison.

Damian Kernahan

Founder and CEO, Proto Partners

Where does the claim that 2 million Australians have tested come from ? Anecdotal information suggests that this is way off the mark.

David Andersen

DNA-based marketing: The next big thing?

Read more

Thank you for the info , being part of a digital marketing agency in kerala , this proved handy and get to know with upcoming trends. htt...

Dotz Web Technologies

Predictions: 9 digital marketing trends for 2019

Read more

So who then is correct? The Research or The skilled Digital people.

Anene

Report reveals Australia faces digital skills shortage

Read more

The blogs are really appreciable and one can trust the knowledge and information provided in the writing.The article you do produce on a ...

Prince Arora

5 brand strategy lessons from Gelato Messina

Read more

Thanks for sharing! Meet the Softcrylic team at Adobe Summit 2019. This team works with a broad range of clients helping solve complex bu...

Anderw Hagel

What Richard Branson has to say about experience delivery, leadership and disruption

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in