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Facebook has introduced a new initiative that automatically syncs your Timeline address and your Facebook email address.
The program, which will be rolling out over the next few weeks, means that if your Timeline address is facebook.com/janesmith.19, then your Facebook email address will be firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone who already selected an email address will be unaffected.
Facebook reps could not be reached for comment on the move. The impetus for greater email and profile integration could be driven by Google+, which is heavily interlaced with Gmail. Facebook launched vanity URLs for users in 2009, but there was no email component at the time. In 2010, Facebook gave users @facebook email addresses.
The latest change seems to be aimed at users who didn’t change to a vanity URL, which automatically netted a synchronized email address.
Facebook has been trying to get users to employ its email more for some time. Like Google at the time, Facebook was convinced that users were ready for the next evolution of email. Facebook’s 2010 upgrade sought to lose trappings like subject lines, ccs and bccs. Facebook didn’t even call its upgrade email. The company instead dubbed it “messaging.” However, the latest announcement doesn’t use that term and dubs Facebook’s messaging system “email.”
That, perhaps, is a reflection of email’s continued seemingly intractable popularity. A recent survey by Ipsos, for instance, revealed that 85% of Internet users around the world use email while 62% use it for social networking.
BONUS: How the Facebook Profile Has Changed
2005 – The Facebook
Back in the days when The Facebook was only available to select networks, the News Feed didn’t exist. Users hopped between profiles like this one.
2006 – Mini-Feed
With the September 2006 launch of Facebook’s News Feed, user profiles contained mini-feeds that displayed user activity.
2007 – Interaction
While not a huge year for profile redesign, users began to interact more with each other’s profiles — remember Facebook Gifts?
2008 – The App Era
Users were able to add application tabs to their profiles (e.g. Bumper Stickers). Facebook also introduced the Publisher tool bar, which allowed a user to publish a status update, photo or link to his profile.
2009 – Pages
A new kind of user profile, Pages launched in 2009. Users could “become a fan” of a Page (until 2010, when they could “like” a page) to see that individual’s or business’ updates in their news feed.
2010 – A Visual Redesign
Late in 2010, Facebook launched a new profile that, up until this week, remained pretty much unaltered. Users took advantage by getting creative with the new photo banner at the top of the page. Also, Facebook told you what friends/fans you had in common in the upper right-hand corner of each page.
2011 – Ticker
As of Sept. 20, Facebook’s new ticker has the ability to follow a user around to every page, including profiles. The company also introduced a “View As” widget in the upper right-hand corner that allows a user to preview how others see her page.
2011 – Timeline
Announced Thursday at Facebook’s f8 conference, the new profile will act like a virtual scrapbook, featuring important milestones that have occurred since your time on Facebook. Compared to the evolution of the social network’s profile thus far, this redesign appears the most significant.
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