Facebook's "Gmail Killer" Project Titan unofficially unveiled

Hours ago, Facebook flicked the switch on another redesign of its home page. It was a pretty significant change when compared to their previous redesigns, though it seems that it was just the tip of the iceberg – as TechCrunch reported, the social networking company is rumored to be currently developing a fully featured webmail service, dubbed Project Titan.

Project Titan is said to be not only a webmail service, but also a complete rewrite of the current messaging service which the company uses. A few people have expressed complaints about their current messaging service, believing that it is too slow and frustrating to access when almost everybody uses email nowadays (you can receive emails when you get Facebook messages, but you still have to go through the site to interact with people). The company aims to make their social network the best possible experience it can be, for various obvious reasons, and this improvement will be extremely welcome.

Project Titan, while being a webmail service featured on Facebook, will have a few additions to make it much more accessible to those who use messaging regularly. First of all, you'll get your own email address; it'll be your vanity name (the one you chose for your Facebook.com/username address) at Facebook.com. Project Titan will also provide POP and IMAP support for the addresses, meaning that you'll be able to add the account to various third party services, and even mobile devices, should you desire to. In short, it'll be exactly like a regular email address, except it'll go through Facebook.

Project Titan is said to be called a "Gmail killer" unofficially, which may be a pretty bold statement, though you can be sure that if the rumors are true, the project certainly won't be unpopular. Hopefully the company will have some official news on this soon, though it'll most likely be a few months away yet.

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XeonBuilder said,

I have it and never even used it. Has anyone even tried Waves yet??


I've tried it but it just didn't work out. Facebook is good for social networking, Gmail for mail. Lets keep it that way.

Confirmed, Facebook is running out of ideas.

The idea to create a @facebook email service is fancy but it is also redundant, hence unnecessary.

I definitely won't be using this feature. I'm already considering closing my Facebook account. It feels like such a poorly designed interface.

This should be interesting in a school environment, as most public K-12 schools (at least in the US) block facebook, but allow students to access their personal email as a way to mail assignments in to their teacher. I don't think too many school IT departments will be willing to just unblock Facebook in order to let students get to their email.

or are they just adding fuel to the fire.. i see people complaining every day that facebook is slow, they cant access certain things or cant access it at all.

"everybody uses email nowadays"? I don't think so. I find most people use Facebook messaging for their immediate contacts compared to email, and use email for business. And I'm not sure how many people are going to tell a business contact to email them at username@facebook.com Not to mention, you'll still have to use regular email for business. So no, not a gmail killer by any means, just another email addy.

Right now Google Apps works pretty well for me. I am a huge fan of Exchange but Google Apps is starting to replace the need for Exchange. Not to mention its a hell of a lot cheaper.

All you turd toking, stool poking losers who think you're the only person out there with your first name as your FB account need to wake up and smell the @#$%. Considering how much virus and Spamware is sent through FB now and how insecure it is for hackers to break into, I wouldn't be too quick to dump all your personal emails in there. Nahhhh on second thought ...go ahead use it like there's no tomorrow, get your game on on the FBmail. It keeps me busy after work making money on the side cleaning viruses off people's computer's.

gmail killer = a joke.... at least google just uses my information, my information becomes theirs on facebook...

I'm sorry, but given the sheer load of crap that gets posted to my front page from all the viral game apps, there's no way I'd trust them with my email.

Isn't facebook full of enough spam already? I can't see how adding these features would benefit Facebook.

I am attached to Gmail myself, but I could see me using this facebook email address for my porn spam email :P

So a CEO talking about how privacy is dead, making global changes setting defaults to less secure defaults... and you want to use your e-mail through them?

I receive almost all of my personal messages through Facebook or some other social networking site. Email is almost 100% work related for me, except for the random "other" stuff you get in email (online purchase receipts, notifications from websites, etc.).

Frankly, I don't really want email in Facebook.

Oh god, I already hate it when people use Facebook as a means to contact me for business stuff, this is only going to further increase that problem.

Volatile said,
i dont see the redesign they are talking about.
Maybe you need to clear you browser cache? I am not Facebook user so I don't really know even if there is a redesign. Only assuming that perhaps it was your browser cache.

Krome said,
Maybe you need to clear you browser cache? I am not Facebook user so I don't really know even if there is a redesign. Only assuming that perhaps it was your browser cache.

Nope, clearing the cache hasn't worked here...

SH3K0 said,
First we had the iPhone Killer post, now its Gmail killer wow! Wonder what's next!

The Neowin writer killer for overuse of the word/term killer!

Yeah add an email client right there with the untested drive-by virus apps and you got yourself a real Killer (a Windows Killer). FB still hasn't figured out how to upgrade it's servers without dumping user content, like I would trust them with my email... Now my next diagnostic question after do you use FB or MySpace, will be do you use FB Mail?....

Active-X said,
I wonder if thats coming in partnership with Microsoft, as their IM is powered by Microsoft too

That'd be pretty sweet. They need to kill Live Messenger, lean it up, simplify it and do so.

Active-X said,
I wonder if thats coming in partnership with Microsoft, as their IM is powered by Microsoft too

Where are you getting this information from about their IM being powered by MS? I believe they wrote it from scratch, I remember reading an article on their blog about how they did it (was interesting considering the amount of users they have active at any time)

-Stands on pedestal, raises hands like moses and adresses crowd

"WHO HERE CAN KILL A GOD?"

-Clasps hands at waist and bows head

"not i"

-Continues to bow head and clasps hands as he walks of the pedestal amist the crowds murmurs.

Einlander said,
-Stands on pedestal, raises hands like moses and adresses crowd

"WHO HERE CAN KILL A GOD?"

-Clasps hands at waist and bows head

"not i"

-Continues to bow head and clasps hands as he walks of the pedestal amist the crowds murmurs.

You cannot kill someone who doesn't exist.

WAR-DOG said,

+1

lol @Your user name backwards!

There is no DOG.

Edited by basix, Feb 5 2010, 8:29pm : afterthought

I'm going to put forward an editorial suggestion to ban 'X killer' as a phrase That said, cool article - will be interesting to see if Facebook succeeds; I've noticed recently they've enabled the 'Reply to this email notification to post a reply' feature, whereby you actually bypass Facebook as a web application yet still contribute.

Rob said,
I'm going to put forward an editorial suggestion to ban 'X killer' as a phrase

Excellent suggestion. More often that not the "killer" rarely puts a dent in the market leader and of course, GMail is far from the leader in this case.

C_Guy said,

Excellent suggestion. More often that not the "killer" rarely puts a dent in the market leader and of course, GMail is far from the leader in this case.

But I think in this case internally at facebook they're calling it the "gmail killer"

I can see a couple of problems with this:

1. Not everyone likes their vanity name, so they're kind stuck with thenameididntwant@facebook.com
2. 350 million users? 350 million fresh targets for spam :(

Antaris said,
I can see a couple of problems with this:

1. Not everyone likes their vanity name, so they're kind stuck with thenameididntwant@facebook.com
2. 350 million users? 350 million fresh targets for spam :(

Yeah I think they'll have to do really well against spam.

My main issue is (forgive me if i've misunderstood) that facebook is a social networking. I use e-mail for all sorts of things, signing up to things, receipts, communicating with friends (gmail is great for organising things, from a simple thing like a friday night post-work meetup to a trip - the conversation layout and the way it updates works perfectly for me), for receiving work tasks, communicating with other companies regarding work... Facebook's just too unprofessional (if you're like me at least and just use facebook to mess around with friends) and fact is, it's not made for e-mail.

Edited by Thom, Feb 5 2010, 1:23pm :

I see another major problem with this. Facebook is blocked in a lot of workplaces and educational institutes, whereas Gmail isn't really, or at least not to the same extent. It's going to suck if you can't access your main inbox in most commercial and education outfits.

CapaCapa said,
I see another major problem with this. Facebook is blocked in a lot of workplaces and educational institutes, whereas Gmail isn't really, or at least not to the same extent. It's going to suck if you can't access your main inbox in most commercial and education outfits.

This.

CapaCapa said,
I see another major problem with this. Facebook is blocked in a lot of workplaces and educational institutes, whereas Gmail isn't really, or at least not to the same extent. It's going to suck if you can't access your main inbox in most commercial and education outfits.

+1

Seems pretty cool. Any improvment on what they have currently is welcomed. It's insane how bad the chat and message systems works now. I browse and then everything freezes for a few seconds and then you hear that popping sound and it's a message. You can't type while recieving a message it freezes your browser until the message pops up. It ****es me off all the time. I can't stand it when someone sends me a message on facebook because of that.

dogmai said,
Seems pretty cool. Any improvment on what they have currently is welcomed. It's insane how bad the chat and message systems works now. I browse and then everything freezes for a few seconds and then you hear that popping sound and it's a message. You can't type while recieving a message it freezes your browser until the message pops up. It ****es me off all the time. I can't stand it when someone sends me a message on facebook because of that.

Yeh, the freeze is pretty poor!

basix said,
Dosn't happen on WIN7 64bit W/ IE8

I Can't duplicate

probably because he has a different internet connection than you. the lag is most likely it loading the chat client, the message, as well as the "pop" sound. I can also say that facebook is the worst IM that I've ever used, but hey- its the new AIM!

well with all the facebook apps on smartphones it could end up better then gmail. Id rather use an app to get my mail then the built in main client on the iphone.

majortom1981 said,
well with all the facebook apps on smartphones it could end up better then gmail. Id rather use an app to get my mail then the built in main client on the iphone.

You know theres an iPhone specific gmail page you can access through safari?

majortom1981 said,
well with all the facebook apps on smartphones it could end up better then gmail. Id rather use an app to get my mail then the built in main client on the iphone.

Or just get an Android phone that revolves around gmail (GREAT App for email, synced contact list, etc).

majortom1981 said,
well with all the facebook apps on smartphones it could end up better then gmail. Id rather use an app to get my mail then the built in main client on the iphone.