Facebook's email switch prompts criticism by users

 
Facebook screenshot User details in the About Section of the site now list a Facebook email address as the default

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Facebook is facing a backlash from users after replacing email addresses listed in members' contacts with those provided by its @facebook.com system.

The company said it had acted to make details "consistent" across its site.

If Facebook's email system takes off it could drive more traffic to the firm's pages helping boost advertising sales.

But some users have branded the move "annoying" and "lame" and publicised instructions on how to display original addresses instead of the Facebook ones.

Facebook first announced plans for the move in April, although the news attracted little attention at the time.

"We are providing every Facebook user with his or her own Facebook email address because we find that many users find it useful to connect with each other, but using Facebook email is completely up to you," said a statement from the company.

Emails sent to @facebook.com addresses appear alongside posts sent via the network's internal message system, allowing users to pick up both types of communication from the same place.

Annoyed users

One analyst told the BBC the effort could backfire.

"It reeks of the same move Google did with its Buzz product when it automatically opted people in, and users recoiled against the action," said Anthony Mullen, interactive marketing analyst at Forrester Research.

"This is a direction Facebook needs to move in - your email is a proxy for your identity on the internet and Facebook want to usurp people's pre-existing email identities with their own to help drive up traffic to its site and lock users into its service.

"The problem is the lack of transparency - it has acted without asking for members' permission first."

Messages posted to the rival social network Twitter suggested the move had annoyed some users.

"Warnings would have been nice Facebook, don't just go and change email addresses," tweeted Josselyn Arundell from Manchester.

"More stunningly bad work from Facebook," posted London-based Darren Gough.

"Good idea to get people to use it. Poorly executed!!!" added Brent Jagodnik from California.

Few messages supported the move.

Users wishing to undo the change can do so by clicking on the "about" link in their profile and then clicking the "edit" button next to their contact information.

They then need to click make their Facebook email address "hidden from timeline" and then - if they wish - make one or more of their other preferred addresses visible.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 55.

    Poor facebook, are they short of money? Boohoooooo

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 54.

    FastCompany published an article yesterday about 5 stupid things companies do. This change would fall under No. 5, product customization. If we had wanted to use Facebook's email service, we would have done so by now. Facebook should stop forcing its users to bend to its will. We're not using the service out of loyalty, but inertia. In other words, Facebook should back off.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 53.

    @46 David Woodhouse
    Farcebook is a US company, and as such, the DPA is toothless against them. The only way you'll get them to listen is to walk away, but you'll need millions to do it, not a handfull

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 52.

    @49. Stoketom

    Do you imagine that those friends who left you behind somewhen, somwhere, will be the same or of any interest to you? Likely not. Just look at what users of Faecesbook claim: 300, 400 some 500+ friends. Yeah right. That is a sure sign of social insecurity.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 51.

    Generally speaking, the opinions of the majority of Facebook users aren't worth bothering about anyway. After all, most of what's on there is nothing but boring, egotistical, mindless nonsense.

    The sooner people waken up and realise the huge mistake they've made by giving so much personal information, the better. But by that stage it'll be too late.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 50.

    I don't use Facebook.

    Best solution.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 49.

    Who cares. I am on it in case anyone who has lost contact with me wants to get back in contact. Only people who are unable to leave their houses, live to far away from people or sad sacks live their lives by it. Go out and talk to people face to face, you might find it interesting.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 48.

    Facebook is now a Listed company.They have to find new ways of genrating income as less people are visitng the main site and instead accessing it through smart phones. selling your private data, forcing you to use more of their services to gain more traffic and dare i say eventually charging to use their "Free service". Personally i still don't get facebook....thankfully

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 47.

    @41 (skylaird): It already exists. It's called Diaspora and it's open source, non-commercial and distributed. But no one uses it; it's a wasteland and everybody is staying on Facebook. I wonder why that is. Perhaps it's that people love to whinge but don't actually care about their freedom.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 46.

    Under the Data Protection Act, they are required to correct your personal information in their database if you inform them of their error. So don't follow the procedure to "fix" your email address for yourself; send them a letter instead, demanding that they fix it.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 45.

    Give somebody something for free and still they whine!! :-(

    Set up your own network or leave. Too much time spent on facebook by some, there's a link to those who are angry about a free service.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 44.

    Facebook is just dreadful. I see an increasing amount of the low-lifes on the Jeremy Kyle show seem to be devotees of this awful, chavvy networking site. I would never, ever consider joining ANY social networking site, as I value my privacy too highly, and Facebook etc. are a disaster waiting to happen.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 43.

    Get a life, get some fresh air and stop wasting your lives on these stupid social network sites.

  • rate this
    +15

    Comment number 42.

    A lot of people missing the point in the comments. I am not bothered about FB giving me an @facebook.com email address, I can just ignore that. What is irritating is that they did so, made it my default email address, made it public and didn't even have the good grace to announce that this had been done.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 41.

    One day, probably quite soon, someone will start up a social networking site that is purely about the joy of human communication, not about profit. They will respect their users and listen to them and generally leave the site well alone if it is working well. And that site will become the most popular in the world.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 40.

    35.Paul
    You can easily change it back!
    =>But why should someone HAVE to. This is typical of Facebook, a couple of genius software kids who can't tie their own shoelaces where people and privacy go.They've got a bunch of programmers scratching their bums w/ nothing to do so zuckerbach or whoever he is crying Do Something! Don't just SIT there! so they come up with daft stuff like this! Bravo!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 39.

    People who are annoyed at this are spending far too much time on facebook. It's just an email address and it's just a website. If you don't like it spend 10 seconds of your valuable facebook time changing your privacy settings.

  • rate this
    +32

    Comment number 38.

    Everyone who is against this move should close their account on 4th July. Call it "Independence from Facebook" day.

    If this took off, they might see that people are upset.

    Big corporations only see the obvious when it hits them in the profit margin.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 37.

    I can't imagine why anyone would want to use Faecesbook. It has to be the worst in the social networking genre. What was it that Zuckerberg said last year? something like "in the future there will be no privacy". Maybe he was referring to his new email service in that as well. Try and see the wood for the trees and swap to something less chavvy, OK?

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 36.

    I don't understand what facebook has actually done. The @facebook.com email addresses were created months ago, and have been on profiles since then. What's changed?

 

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