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

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

Hey there! Very interesting article, thank you for your input! I found particularly interesting the part where you mentioned that certain...

Martin Valovič

Companies don’t have policies to disrupt traditional business models: Forrester’s McQuivey

Read more

I too am regularly surprised at how little care a large swathe of consumers take over the sharing and use of their personal data. As a m...

Catherine Stenson

Have customers really changed? - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

The biggest concern is the lack of awareness among marketers and the most important thing is the transparency and consent.

Joe Hawks

Data privacy 2021: What should be front and centre for the CMO right now

Read more

Thanks for giving these awesome suggestions. It's very in-depth and informative!sell property online

Joe Hawks

The new rules of Millennial marketing in 2021

Read more

In these tough times finding an earning opportunity that can be weaved into your lifestyle is hard. Doordash fits the bill nicely until y...

Fred Lawrence

DoorDash launches in Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Highlights of 2020 deliver necessity for Circular Economies

The lessons emerging from a year like 2020 are what make the highlights, not necessarily what we gained. One of these is renewed emphasis on sustainability, and by this, I mean complete circular sustainability.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Have customers really changed?

The past 12 months have been a confronting time for marketers, with each week seemingly bringing a new challenge. Some of the more notable impacts have been customer-centric, driven by shifting priorities, new consumption habits and expectation transfer.

Emilie Tan

Marketing strategist, Alpha Digital

Cultivating engaging content in Account-based Marketing (ABM)

ABM has been the buzzword in digital marketing for a while now, but I feel many companies are yet to really harness its power. The most important elements of ABM are to: Identify the right accounts; listen to these tracked accounts; and hyper-personalise your content to these accounts to truly engage them. It’s this third step where most companies struggle.

Joana Inch

Co-founder and head of digital, Hat Media Australia

Sign in