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Facebook launch email service

Along with backing the use of @facebook.com addresses for the new service
, two anonymous sources said the future platform wouldn't be stand-alone like Gmail or Hotmail but would instead integrate tightly with the existing social network.

Social networking site Facebook
may soon offer e-mail services to its 500 million members to compete gmail and yahoomail, making it the largest such service on the planet.

Yahoo, Google and Microsoft are already scrambling to re-tool their e-mail services to build them more around people's social connections. The updates at the scheduled Monday event would bring more than just e-mail, the sources said.

These too weren't explained, but they would “greatly expand” communication on Facebook beyond the simple instant messaging, direct messages and wall-to-wall posts that define Facebook today.

Speculation has existed that Facebook might prioritize e-mail based on whether or not it comes from friends and how closely connected other contacts can be. If closely tied to the regular network, the e-mail wouldn't be directly comparable to what Google and Microsoft do today but could threaten their businesses by giving users more reasons to stay on Facebook for most of their communications.

Facebook would have a tremendous advantage because it owns a vast trove of data about people's relationships and would find it easier to graft e-mail onto its existing social services such as photo-sharing.

All this added a social network that is already the world's most used vehicle for sharing information, photos, videos, activities and causes. Every month there are about 25 billion content that Facebook users make available to the network of "friends" Digital

However, a Facebook e-mail service would be most remarkable not for the size of its network, but for how it could use its web of social connections to transform one of the oldest -- and perhaps still the most important -- functions of the Internet.





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