Facebook Launching a “Gmail Killer”?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the revamp of Facebook’s messaging system. And Google better watch out.

Photo credit: AP/Paul Sakuma

Although there were rumors that Facebook would create an email service to wipe out other services, including Google’s Gmail, Zuckerberg announced that email is just one part of the plan, saying, “This is not an e-mail killer. It is a messaging system that includes e-mail as part of it.”

Zuckerberg called a special event in San Francisco to reveal his plans on Monday, a day before he’s set to speak at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Zuckerberg said the revamp would bring together four messaging types: SMS, Instant Messaging, e-mail and Facebook chat. Facebook users will also be able to get a facebook.com addresses with their accounts.

Zuckerberg predicts that email is past its prime and isn’t going to be a modern messaging system in the future.

“If we do a good job, some people will say this is the way that the future will work,” Zuckerberg declared.

But Zuckerberg refuted rumors that Facebook was trying to create a “Gmail killer” as the press has titled the revamp. He did, however, explain that people are favoring instant messaging and chats over email because it’s simpler, “more fun” and more efficient to use.

He gracefully added that Gmail is a “great product” and “email is still important to a lot of people.”

Facebook’s director of engineering, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, admitted just how enormous this revamp was, saying that 15 Facebook engineers worked on the project for 15 months.

Facebook engineer Joel Seligstein wrote a blog that revealed Facebook’s revamped messaging service will prioritize relationships.

“It seems wrong that an email message from your best friend gets sandwiched between a bill and a bank statement. It’s not that those other messages aren’t important, but one of them is more meaningful,” Seligstein wrote.

Seligstein added that the messaging platform is simplified, “There are no subject lines, no cc:, no bcc:, and you can send a message by hitting the Enter key. We modelled it more closely to chat and reduced the number of things you need to do to send a message. We wanted to make this more like a conversation.”

Too bad the new Facebook messaging will not be available to Canadian users right away!

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    A committed soap opera freak--err, fan, Rolla Bahsous was thrilled to begin her professional writing career writing about everything soaps. But her love for television did not stop at daytime! Rolla is excited to be using her guilty pleasure, following celebrity gossip, at FabulousBuzz.com. Rolla's had a few encounters with her favorite celebs, including a fingertip brush and a "Take care, sweetheart" from Michael Buble, as well as a flying kiss from Nick Carter - in both incidents Rolla forgot how to breathe. Rolla's University of Toronto degree in communications, political science, and theater is evidence of her diverse interests. When she is not writing, Rolla enjoys her obsession with fairies, coffee shops, and working out, (while watching television, of course!).