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Could Facebook Replace Your Email?

Posted by on May 19, 2009


Facebook has been up to some interesting things lately including the recent addition of the chat feature.  Rumor is a video chat feature is going to be released soon.  Facebook also recently partnered with Openid which means that you can now use your gmail account info to log into Facebook.  I’ve been a loyal gmail user for years but I’m beginning to wonder if Facebook can replace them.  Perhaps within the next few years we’re going to see a “” email account?

I’ve already been using Facebook quite extensively to connect with people and have even found a few potential clients on there.  As a user it would be quite efficient if Facebook allowed me to send emails directly from their platform.  Of course, this would mean a bit of UI work on their end to create a customized email tab, but I think it would be worth it.

I think email could be coming to Facebook in the not so distant future, here are a few reasons why.

  • Facebook has been adding a lot of Gmail-like features including text/video chat
  • The user base is growing and people are spending more and more time on Facebook
  • The recent addition of Openid makes me think that Facebook will at one point allow importing of Gmail contacts directly into their platform
  • The messaging tool is great for contacting friends but it doesn’t make much sense to have to send emails from an entirely new platform to people you are connected with
  • Since they have such as large user base already adoption for their email platform should be pretty decent
  • Facebook is already able to do some things that Gmail can
  • Facebook has a lot of user data that could make sending emails a more personal experience.  What if every time I sent an email I was offered to connect with that person via Facebook?

What do you think, can we see Facebook as an email platform in the future?  I say yes, we’ve already seen data showing that social networks have eclipsed email in terms of usage, a hybird approach of the two seems to me like the next logical step, what say you?

  • I sure hope not. Many people today complain of information overload and a perpetually-full inbox, and Facebook offers no tools — no filters, no tagging, no folders, no smartlists — to help make sense of incoming messages. I receive some communication via Facebook, but read the messages through my traditional email program ( and only go to the site to respond if absolutely necessary.

    • hi marina,

      first off, thanks for the comment. facebook is of course still weak on the email front, but what if they offered the full range of email tools that gmail does? gmail+social network all rolled into one?

  • Assume you're right and Facebook considers offering email. Wouldn't it make more sense if Google purchased or otherwise partnered with Facebook? Or Twitter, or MySpace, or iTunes, even. Why wouldn't Google acquire a company if there's a threat of competition? Isn't that the goal of the big G? To be the machine?

    • google already tried to get facebook and that didnt work, at this point i dont think it will ever happen, their valuation is growing quickly. who knows, maybe google will one day acquire them (yes i know, contradictory statements)

  • HenrikWL

    Heavens, no.

    Why does every single service attempt to mutate into monolithic abominations that pervade every aspect of our online lives? Ever since Facebook opened up for third-party application developers the place has gone downhill. It's a freakin' spam-o-rama.

    I'd rather have 1000 different services that do their particular thing well, than 1 service that does everything but does it half-assed. FaceBook is a prime example of the latter.

    • very well there. you do make a good point of having one service that does one thing well, however if you look at google, they have a whole host of tools/platforms that all integrate with each other

      • HenrikWL

        Yeah, but that's the thing. Google has lots of different services, who are all distinct and do their thing well. They integrate, sure, but they're inherently loosely coupled and non-invasive.

        Facebook just has that one service, and if they've made any attempt to define and differentiate between multibple services they've offered, they've done a lousy job at it.

  • I'll echo the sentiment of others here. Really really hope not. Unless Facebook becomes a lot more intuitive and adds more features…I just don't see this happening. Also…the whole enterprise market might have something to say about this…

    • of course it's still pretty early to tell but i wouldnt be surprised if this happened within the next few years. im also assuming that as you mentioned; facebook does become more intuitive and adds more features.

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