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Will Facebook E-Mail Be A G-Mail Killer? Who Cares?

Topics: Technology | 2 CommentsBy admin | November 12, 2010

Why anyone would use either as their primary e-mail service escapes me. And using a Microsoft Office product through a web browser, via a Facebook account is sort of like pouring gasoline down your horse’s throat, poking his eye with a cattle prod, and yelling at it to get on the freeway

You’ve probably heard by now that Facebook will be announcing a full-fledged web e-mail service with POP access and Microsoft Office Web Apps integration on Monday. Unless – ironically – you’ve been on Facebook all day, because they themselves are saying nothing about it on the site as of this writing. So, with the tech press being as predictable as it is (apologies to Mr. Arrington, at least he breaks the stories), everyone is of course debating whether the new Facebook service is a “Google Killer”. Which is an absurdly framed question, in my opinion. Yes, Facebook and Google are in a battle to dominate the internet in various ways, but I will eat poop on the day that Facebook gets search right or Google gets social networking right. Of course everyone with a Facebook account will activate an available username@facebook.com option. And of course this will siphon in millions in ad revenue and put a big ding in Hotmail, Yahoo, and Google e-mail ad placement dollars. But will that mean that Facebook e-mail will “kill” G-Mail? I personally doubt it, for several reasons. First of all, because I know an astounding number of otherwise intelligent people who still use Hotmail or Yahoo as their primary e-mail accounts. And secondly, of the larger group of people that I know who use G-Mail – especially if they use Google Docs – the last thing in the world they’re going to do is give up the reliable functionality of Google’s cloud services to use a Microsoft Office product through a web browser, via a Facebook account. Forgive me, but in my opinion that’s like pouring gasoline down your horse’s throat, poking his eye with a cattle prod, and yelling at it to get on the freeway. But ultimately, I remain befuddled as to why people would use G-Mail or Facebook as a primary e-mail provider in the first place. Facebook is the company that helps you build a trusted network of friends and then tells you the reason you can’t export their contact info is to protect them from you. Unless THEY are giving them to another service, which then lets you export them. And Google? Aside from the fact that from day one they’ve indexed your e-mails so they can place ads next to them, they are in many ways Facebook’s strongest competitor not so much in terms of services offered, as in the realm of corporate deceipt. In their founding documents they saidwe expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers“. Two years later they introduced advertising to their results, and now derive the vast majority of their revenue from ad services. In terms of how to access e-mail, I still use a mail client and my own mail-server accounts. I guess I have the advantage of owning domains and offering reseller hosting, but this is remarkably easy to set up if you need web-based communication, and your hosting company doesn’t scour your files as a prerequisite to storing them for you. Ah well. To each their own I guess. One thing I must admit I am looking forward to though, is the first friends that get lost in FB’s interface and post an excruciatingly private e-mail on someone’s wall. You know it will be happening in the first week.

Read Comments

  1. Posted by Ben on 11.14.10 10:40 am

    Hmm… let’s see. Gmail’s awesomeness versus a product spawned by a partnership between Facebook and *cough* Microsoft. The same Microsoft that brings you “Hotmail! Now with more terrible!”

    I’m not worried for Gmail just yet. Facebook’s going to have to deliver something pretty, pretty, pretty serious. And it’s going to have to depend on *cough* Microsoft to do it.

  2. Posted by The Best Of 2010 | dissociatedpress.com on 12.28.10 11:33 pm

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