"Perhaps you've heard about the new Facebook email application that has been making such a buzz lately. Or maybe your car still has ashtrays under the door handle and you have no idea what Facebook is. I'm not judging. Anyway, as per Zuckerberg himself, it's not officially an email client. It's a central communications hub within Facebook that will support SMS, Facebook IM and yes, email. Considering Facebook's impressive 500 million active user database (compared to say, roughly 200 million Gmail users) I'd say this move is ALMOST a no brainer.
I say almost because truthfully just the THOUGHT of using Facebook as a primary email client makes me squirm, and my bet is that I'm NOT the only one who feels this way. Actually, I know I'm not. Polls have shown that the majority of participants have negative feelings about it. (When shown a picture of Zuckerberg some participants actually cried.) The main issues being security (or privacy to be exact, Facebook has had plenty of issues in that area) and the fact that many of us are already using 2, 3, maybe even 4 email addresses as it is. Personally, I'm totally NOT interested in pushing yet another account to my Blackberry.
The potential for the application is still undeniably epic. Twitter (the SMS of the Internet) is popular largely in part to the "instant communication" factor it offers. We just looooove being hyper-connected don't we? To the point that sometimes email actually can feel slow!? It definitely serves it's purpose for delivering larger attachments and lengthy communications, however, sometimes it's just faster to text, tweet, IM, BBM, Kik or whatever the hell else you use to connect to your peers RIGHT NOW. So if you could stick all that functionality in one place, a place where you spend [way too much of] your time throughout the day anyway...I think it'd be a slam dunk.
I don't like Zuckerbergs' hair, so I kinda hope this whole email thing flops. I'm not gonna lie. However, I have to say that it's a great idea. As for managing expectations, even Mark agrees that no one is going to sign up and then immediately cancel their Yahoo or Gmail accounts. That's not going to happen. But we might just see a few million loyal Facebook users embrace this feature and turn it into a real contender over time. We shall see Zuckerberg...we shall see. [insert evil laugh here]"