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Facebook takes on Google and Yahoo in email and instant messaging

posted 15 Nov 2010, 13:33 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 15 Nov 2010, 13:36 ]

Facebook announces all-in-one messaging tool that pools users' email, instant and text messages, taking on Google's and Yahoo's popular email platforms.


SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 15, 2010) (FACEBOOK WEBCAST HANDOUT - Facebook rolled out an all-in-one messaging tool on Monday (November 15) that pools users' email, instant and text messages, taking on Google's and Yahoo's popular email platforms.

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said the new system will give users their own "facebook.com" e-mail addresses and let them send instant and text messages in addition to standard email and Facebook notes.

"These are the three things that we think create a modern messaging system: seamless integration across all the different ways that people communicate, including e-mail, but not only e-mail. A single conversation history so you can have all your context with friends and people that you know all in one place, simple to interact with and communicate through. And the third is a social inbox for filtering exactly the messages that you want to see," he told a news conference in San Francisco.

Addressing speculation the world's largest social networking site was planning a "Gmail-killer" -- refering to Google's e-mail service -- Zuckerberg said the two tools could co-exist.

"I think that they have a great product. E-mail is still really important to a lot of people and we just think that this simpler kind of messaging is going to be how a lot more people shift a lot of their communication. We'll see how that happens over time, but if we build a good product that people want to use then people will use it," Zuckerberg said.

Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's director of engineering said Gmail could be integrated into Facebook messaging.

"This product works fine with Gmail users. If you want to send messages with Gmail, cool. We want to enable people to connect however they want to connect. It doesn't matter what service they use," he said.

More than 4 billion messages get sent everyday through Facebook. Its new messaging platform will incorporate a number of features, including an inbox devoted to a user's friends and contacts on Facebook, and another for other mail and messages.

Facebook and Google's intensifying rivalry is expected to play a crucial role in shaping the future of the Internet. The industry is closely watching their pitched struggle for Web surfers' time online, advertising dollars, and increasingly costly Silicon Valley talent.

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