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 295.

    I don't mind if FB gives me one of their email boxes for free, it's a good a place as any to redirect the spam. Let them deal with it :)

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 294.

    292. The Cosmopolitan
    12 MINUTES AGO
    I guess if you're just looking for friendship, you're better off with a dating website.
    +++
    Or the pub.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 293.

    @290 'The Cosmopolitan'
    ~~
    Yes, FB can be a platform for business and free publicity, as you say.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 292.

    I guess if you're just looking for friendship, you're better off with a dating website. FB, Twitter, G+, Linkedin are all useful for promoting any work/business etc one's involved in.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 291.

    What you should do Folks is just stop using FB. Don't let this glorified Messenger service control you. Delete your account and use others like Yahoo Messenger, There's loads other social networking. I use Yahoo Messenger and Twitter, it's not as intrusive.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 290.

    288. coram-populo-2010
    My criticism is with the sites, not the users.
    ////
    Fair enough. My point is more what users make of a site. I accept FB for what it is, there is no personal info of mine on there that can't be obtained otherwise, and since a lot is about work any way, free publicity is welcome. Both HYS and FB are what you make of it in my opinion.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 289.

    Haaaaaaaaaa!!!! who cares

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 288.

    @283 'The Cosmopolitan'
    ~~
    We know there are misery guts everywhere. Sometimes, however, there are some issues that make us all miserable on HYS or elsewhere.

    I see a lot of brevity and humour on HYS, as well as rants, and everything in between. I would not dream of criticising users of Facebook to share work or friendships just because I don't.

    My criticism is with the sites, not the users.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 287.

    worldtruth . org

    Worth a look; seems to be the social network FB could have been. Not big now, but worth signing up to increase numbers, or at least bookmarking for the future.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 286.

    Wasn't the idea within facebook messaging that it stopped spam because effectively you are authorising a friend before messages are sent and received and effectively stopping spam. Having an @ address just welcomes back spam. If facebook was a country would it be a dictator or democracy? Its certainly the size of a country.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 285.

    Wouldn't this be a breech of the Data Protection Act?

    Would the next step be to not let people display their mobile phone numbers on Facebook, as they assume people only wish to communicate through Facebook?

    Facebook might be trying to take over the world, but they're not quite there yet.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 284.

    @tomjol

    "Mark Zuckerberg sells your private information to corporations for money"

    "Er, no he doesn't, he sells targeted advertising. Different. Learn please."

    Er, you don't actually know what he does with all your private information. If you want to believe he keeps it all nice and safe and hidden somewhere where no-one can touch it, go for it. It's called being naive.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 283.

    281. coram-populo-2010
    If you despise HYS so much, why are you on here, on such a regular basis? Surely Facebook should be enough for your online communication needs to comment, share or complain.
    ////
    When did I say I despise HYS? I just remarked on the many miserable people on here. but their misery is there problem. I use FB as a free tool to share my work and friendships.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 282.

    Yawn. More woes on Farcebook. Someone remind me why I haven't logged in and don't seem to be missing out on much.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 281.

    @275 'The Cosmopolitan'
    ~~
    If you despise HYS so much, why are you on here, on such a regular basis? Surely Facebook should be enough for your online communication needs to comment, share or complain.

    Never mind, aaall are welcome here - just stay away from the laaaght of social networks. Seriously, Cosmo, it's clear that info' is being harvested. This BBC site doesn't ask for any personal info.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 280.

    268. The Cosmopolitan

    I'm on FB right now. Getting happy messages from old friends who now live all over the world. I switch to HYS - all miserable people,
    ----------
    Perchance Cosmo they haven't got K2 Dave,The Double Dipstick, Peek a boo Hunt, and if I May say so, the most inept bunch of ideologically obsessed self serving hypocrites in Christendom, running their countries.

    Just a wild stab?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 279.

    I think the BBC should allow posters to rate down on a scale from 1 - 10 rather than just the one measly rate. That way they can really express their disdain for someone they don't agree with. Of course, after a few weeks they would need to 20 to achieve any gratification and then 30, 50 etc,

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 278.

    277. muadib2
    And why does any of this matter?
    ////////
    It doesn't, but it's always highly amusing to watch people get their knickers in twist over nothing, especially those that don't even use FB.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 277.

    And why does any of this matter?

    Childrens hour.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 276.

    Am I allowed to say that Facebook, like other social networks, just operate to collect all your information and sells it on.

 

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