Facebook pulls its email service after only four years

25 Feb 2014

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook

Amid Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote address at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last night, the news Facebook has pulled its email service after four years has been muted from the social network.

Since 2010, Facebook gave its users the chance to set up an @facebook.com email address, but now those with this email suffix will see their emails sent to the email account they used to sign up to Facebook in the first place.

Given Facebook’s recent acquisition of the mobile messaging app WhatsApp for US$16bn, it seems the company has decided to move away from what it sees as the forms of online communication that are considered more traditional.

The ending of the service is expected in March because, as a Facebook spokesperson has claimed, the company saw no need to continue it because of a lack of uptake amongst users. The service has also been rarely updated or given much prominence on the social network’s interface.

It did, however, come to attention in 2012, when it was found to be deliberately hiding users’ regular email accounts in favour of Facebook’s version, to the annoyance of many, who were then required to go in and change their priority email address manually.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic