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Facebook recently has been rolling out the ability to email to and from the "messages" interface. This is rolling out with the update that combines Facebook Chat and Messages, etc, into one messaging service (still usable separately, but all of the history is saved in Messages).

This may still be a limited BETA, but I have it, and I know many who do.

I do not know of anyone who uses it though. The attachment manager, layout, and usability are very streamlined and modern. I feel that it brings the concept of email up to 21st century, personally, though it may be unprofessional, it is still great technology.

Or am I missing something? Is Facebook email unusable or just unpopular and why?

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People already have email accounts. Plus, I think you need an email account before signing up to Facebook.

I suspect that once this rolls out properly, and people new to the internet start signing on to facebook before anything else, it'll start to take off.

Until then, it's going to be a secondary email account and people are only going to use it for messaging inside facebook.

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I know that Facebook wanted to make the email communication platform very casual and not formal. This might be a reason why most people don't want to use it. I think people are forgetting the benefits (like getting a text or IM right away) of the service.

You can send emails to people and receive emails from people using your @facebook.com email address. It's just not very popular. But I am a fan of it.

I guess, it's like using Gmail over Hotmail, the UI is very different so users are used to one thing or another. Facebook still hasn't made the effort to be as private as Gmail or Yahoo Mail are so that makes it a little less like an email provider and more like a social wall of activity.

This article explains why the three big email providers have email services and what it means to their business. Facebook might be trying to target all their 500 million+ users with that.

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