Facebook (FB) Quietly Ends Unused Email Service

Facebook (FB) on Monday announced the social network is retiring its email address system. The reason behind the decision is simple — no one was apparently using their Facebook email addresses.

Facebook admitted very few people were using their @facebook.com addresses : “We’re making this change because most people haven’t been using their Facebook email address,” Facebook told Recode.

Facebook launched the Facebook email system, officially known at the time as “Project Titan” and unofficially as “Gmail killer“, in November 2010. As it was first envisioned, Facebook would streamline all communications under a single umbrella.

In a blog post at the time, Facebook engineer Joel Seligstein said [via TNW]:

“Now people can share with friends over email, whether they’re on Facebook or not. To be clear, Messages is not email. There are no subject lines, no cc, no bcc, and you can send a message by hitting the Enter key. We modeled it more closely to chat and reduced the number of things you need to do to send a message. We wanted to make this more like a conversation.”

While it sounds good on paper, the idea of email via Facebook entirely didn’t seem to resonate with users.

Facebook’s email system received little attention until 2012, when the social network caused a stir by replacing without consent user email addresses on user pages with a default @facebook email.

According to the Verge, Facebook has begun notifying users that all email sent to their @facebook.com address will soon be forwarded to their primary email address on file. The change will happen in early March.

The move comes just a few days after Facebook’s acquisition of messaging app ‘WhatsApp’ for $19 billion.

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