Did you know you have a Facebook email address? Neither does anyone else. And that’s why yesterday Facebook announced that it was retiring its public email system, which has been in existence since November 2010.
Users logging into Facebook will soon see (or have already received) the following message at the top of their screens.
Facebook offers further explanation here.
A Facebook spokesperson told tech news site Re/Code that the social network ditched its flagging email service because it wanted to “focus on improving our mobile messaging experience.” There is no mention of Facebook’s recent $19 billion acquisition of uber texting service WhatsApp, but feel free to draw your own conclusions.
Any messages sent to your existing @facebook.com address will be automatically forwarded to the email address you gave Facebook when you signed up – including messages from strangers that Facebook designated as “other,” which often include a fair amount of spam.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, Facebook will continue to run all emails through its spam filters before forwarding them. Senders will not be able to see your primary email address (unless, of course, you reply to them).
Don’t like it? You will be able turn off forwarding, though instructions on how to do that have yet to be made public. According to a Facebook spokesperson, the changes should roll out in early to mid-March. At that point, you’ll be able to disable forwarding.
At press time Facebook’s user base had yet to throw its customary tantrum over changes to the service. Even they don’t seem to care.