Facebook turns off email notifications – a leap of faith?

14 Sep 2011

Social networking giant Facebook informed users this morning by email it is turning off email notifications with the intention of reducing inbox clutter.

In an email sent to most users, Facebook said: “We’re trying out a new feature to reduce the amount of email you receive from Facebook.

“Starting today, we are turning off most individual email notifications and instead, we’ll send you a summary only if there are popular stories you may have missed.”

However, Facebook said users can turn email notifications back on by going to their notification settings and unchecking the ‘Email Frequency’ box, which will restore the original email notifications system.

With 750m users and growing, I can only imagine that as well as reducing users’ email clutter it could prove to be enormously cost-saving for the social networking powerhouse.

But to my mind it also represents a leap of faith. Is Facebook so secure in its user base that it can trust users to log in as frequently if they don’t receive email notifications as frequently?

It seems to be a leap of faith and Facebook will know soon enough by judging its traffic patterns.

Rivals like Google+ and Twitter send users email notifications if someone comments on their posts so it would be also interesting to see if they follow suit.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years