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What Will Facebook Email Mean For Google?

Yup, that’s right, Facebook Email.

The rumours are flying thick and fast, and when rumours are as thick and fast as this, they tend to be almost definitely true. Now that you are over the shock/excitement (unless you knew already you sly dog) lets think about how this is going to affect everyone’s favourite search engine.

Despite the headlines being circulated currently exclaiming that Facebook are launching their email as a ‘Gmail killer’ the effects of Facebook Email may be a little more subtle at first. For one, people are creatures of habit and will not be dumping Gmail for Facebook Email when Gmail is a perfectly good and respected source of email.

Spam Killer

One of the arguments people have is that Facebook Email will be the opportunity for us to enjoy a spam free email experience at last. With people who want a Facebook email account likely to be required to have a valid Facebook Profiles first, when you start getting email from other Facebook accounts you will be able to trust that they are not spam. Plus you will be able to filter out any email locations that you don’t want emailing you: such as friends of friends. However, the way real email works is that anyone with your email address can get in touch with you. You can’t filter out everything but emails from your friends otherwise how are people supposed to get in touch with you if they are for example: offering you a job or a long lost friend? You can’t expect everyone in the world to have a Facebook account and expect you to accept them as a friend before you can send them an email. Besides how do you know you will be able to trust that your Facebook friends haven’t picked up a virus somewhere and delivered it to your welcoming spam filtered inbox?

What Facebook need to do, is get a great spam filter and get it working well. Then it will be on par with Gmail.


One thing Facebook has over Google, is a wider net for advertising. While Google may collect billions of dollars a year through AdWords, Facebook has a clear advantage in that it has adverts on more and more pages every day as people add ‘Like’ buttons below each and every product and service, blog and video telling you that your friends like this product. One of the best endorsements anyone can have.

Facebook also have your permission to use your information to direct targeted adverts to you. If you ‘Like’ Skittles, you can be sure to see a whole bunch of Skittles ads appearing on your Facebook page. It currently (according to comScore) serves 23% of the total display adverts online and this will no doubt increase in the future. Google can never use the information it has on you in this manner as it has explicitly promised not to do this, as per its overriding mantra.

Facebook’s social advertising, social email spam filters and massive social loving fan base should indeed be a threat to Gmail as well as other email providers, but for the many people who don’t use Facebook every day and just use it casually will a new email system be enough pull to draw you into their social network completely?

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