Unexpected Facebook Email Switch Ruffles User Feathers (FB)

Posted by · June 26, 2012 10:31 am

Facebook email switchAfter an April announcement that Facebook would be “updating addresses on Facebook to make them consistent across our site” began to take shape this month, users have expressed their discontent with the site’s latest change to their accounts. Calling the move some sort of “Gmail Killer,” many began noticing that Facebook was changing default email addresses to ones run by the social site.

Speaking with security consultant and blogger Graham Cluley, the AFP reports that the transition took place without legitimate warning.

“The social network didn’t make clear that it would also be making the @facebook.com email addresses the default address displayed to your online friends,” Cluley noted in his blog. “Clearly this is all part of the site’s plan to get more people using the @facebook.com email addresses, thus making the social network even harder to extricate yourself from.”

All of this comes after Facebook introduced then just as soon retracted its Find Friends Nearby feature, which would have used cell phone numbers to help users find friends, well, nearby. Unlike this change, though, Find Friends Nearby was an opt-in service.

Hoping to keep users on the site and away from competitors like Google and Yahoo, Facebook is using the new @facebook.com addresses to forward email to Facebook profile inboxes. And to ensure that it has a captive audience, the site decided not to make to use the same opt-in approach for this feature, electing instead to set these email addresses as the default for many users.

In a statement to ABC News, Facebook attempted to explain the less-than-transparent decision, which the social site maintains was at the heart of the April announcement mentioned above:

In addition to everyone receiving an email address, we’re also rolling out a new setting that gives people the choice to decide which addresses they want to show on their timelines.

Ever since the launch of timeline, people have had the ability to control what posts they want to show or hide on their own timelines, and today we’re extending that to other information they post, starting with the Facebook address.

Despite the irritation caused by this latest Facebook gaffe, however, users can easily revert back to their original email addresses by editing their profiles. By selecting one’s own timeline, selecting the “About” page and then choosing the Edit link in the Contact Info box, users can elect to hide their @facebook.com email address from their timelines.

If that wasn’t enough, though, this switch was complemented by an equally, if not more frustrating change, which had to do with user profile URLs. For those of us with common names, numbers have been added after our names, making our old profile URLs useless. So, if you’re like me, and you’ve included that link in your blog, other social sites, email signatures or anything of that nature, then from one annoyed Facebook user to another—happy updating!

For more on the Facebook email switch…

  • Well, everyone wonders how long wil FB be the king of the jungle. With moves like that – greedy, oriented on ads profit – that will be quite soon I guess. What web community needs now is a new, rising star of internet social networking 🙂