Facebook's Project Titan to take on Gmail; coming Monday? [Update]

facebook

Facebook sent out invites to many websites, asking them to be part of an unveiling on Monday, November 15. The invite doesn't explain much, but it does use the inbox icon used on the Facebook application on the iPhone.

This could only mean two things. Facebook is launching a redesign for their mail system, a move that would be kind of pointless, considering number two is Facebook is launching Project Titan, according to TechCrunch.

Neowin wrote back in February that Facebook was working on a "Gmail killer" called Project Titan. Project Titan will be a full email service provided with a @facebook.com email address. With over 550 million users on the site, each member would essentially get their own email address, to take on Google's Gmail email service.

The juicy details don't end there. Rumor has it that Facebook email will support Microsoft Office Web Apps. The partnership between Facebook and Microsoft is continuing to grow, while the battle with Google continues to grow.

Facebook has one of the worlds most popular photo sharing service, a feature they may focus on in through their email service. There is also many more features like Places, games, applications and even their friend algorithm that could play a massive part in their email service. It will be interesting to see what Facebook has planned for Monday. We'll be sure to cover what Facebook announces next week.

Update: Facebook has recently purchased www.fb.com, which could possibly be the domain name for the email clients.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Daily Gaming: November 12, 2010

Next Story

Microsoft shifted money making Windows appear more profitable

60 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Now doesn't this put the public spat that Google and Facebook have been having into perspective? Imagine Facebook using Gmail API to find your friends on Facebook as a way of bringing over your entire address book. I think that is what Google is afraid of.

If only you all knew what was coming on Monday ... there is a new secure sign in much like windows passport idea.. anyways stay tuned its going to be amazing!

If it uses Outlook Web Access, I'm sold. Even more if it uses your FB username, since mine is just Ambroos. ambroos@fb.com, classy, no?

Ambroos said,
If it uses Outlook Web Access, I'm sold. Even more if it uses your FB username, since mine is just Ambroos. ambroos@fb.com, classy, no?

IDK. OWA is nice and fun to play with for the first few hours you have it, but after a while, it just becomes any old regular webmail interface.

We use OWA 2007 where I work, and it's kinda annoying really - if you use Outlook you can edit your tasks list and notes, but if you access OWA, tasks and notes are read-only (can't modify existing ones or make new ones). That's very annoying, as I find those two features to be quite useful.

With all the security & privacy issues Facebook is famous for, not counting all the shared information they spill out... Would anyone be dumb enough to trust them with their private & personal e-mails?!?

"Update: Facebook has launched http://mail.facebook.com, that displays Microsoft Outlook Web App, which confirms that Facebook and Microsoft are working on some sort of mail client that uses Outlook Web Apps."

Surely all that 'confirms' is that facebook use exchange for their staff which access their staff mail through that shortcut?!?

Ben Macrow said,
"Update: Facebook has launched http://mail.facebook.com, that displays Microsoft Outlook Web App, which confirms that Facebook and Microsoft are working on some sort of mail client that uses Outlook Web Apps."

Surely all that 'confirms' is that facebook use exchange for their staff which access their staff mail through that shortcut?!?


You are correct - that is for their staff.

if you try and login to the outlook web access
it redirects you to
thefacebook.com
not sure i would have that as an email address

Storm said,
if you try and login to the outlook web access
it redirects you to
thefacebook.com
not sure i would have that as an email address

I very much doubt the domain will be "@thefacebook.com."
"thefacebook.com" is their old domain, from 2004/5.

Owen W said,
The screenshot confirms nothing. That could be a themed outlook web app. Not hard to do.

It's for Facebook's employees, so they can access their work email at home.

It's interesting; however, I think it'll suffer the same fate as Hotmail in terms of professionalism. That's where Gmail wins. Most places accept "@gmail.com" addresses. It's widely accepted as a professional e-mail address.

Anaron said,
That's where Gmail wins. Most places accept "@gmail.com" addresses. It's widely accepted as a professional e-mail address.
Ha! You're funny.

Jebadiah said,
Ha! You're funny.

As much as I actually hate to admit it, gmail.com is one of the only "professional without your own .com email domain" that isnt laughed at in the circles I tend to discuss in. Personally I use my own domains with a name@domain.com deal for professional, but it gets me when so called PC Techs put a @gmail.com on their business card. Its like going to best buy and asking the geek squad to install the latest windows updates for you.

Anaron said,
It's interesting; however, I think it'll suffer the same fate as Hotmail in terms of professionalism. That's where Gmail wins. Most places accept "@gmail.com" addresses. It's widely accepted as a professional e-mail address.

WTF?
I dont consider any of those domains, gmail;hotmail;yahoo;etc, "professional"...

I mean I hate facebook but come on...come up with a better arguement than that.

Anaron said,
It's interesting; however, I think it'll suffer the same fate as Hotmail in terms of professionalism. That's where Gmail wins. Most places accept "@gmail.com" addresses. It's widely accepted as a professional e-mail address.

True. I dislike the "hotmail.com/co.uk" domain, which is why I'm glad Microsoft also allow us to use "@live.com/co.uk" as our domain.

aftas said,

WTF?
I dont consider any of those domains, gmail;hotmail;yahoo;etc, "professional"...

I mean I hate facebook but come on...come up with a better arguement than that.

Okay. That's your view on it. The thing is, it isn't up to you to decide whether it's professional or unprofessional. It's an established fact that most people are aware of. A lot of businesses use Gmail. Are they "unprofessional"?

As for your last statement. I don't care if you hate Facebook or love it. That's irrelevant.

That's just Exchange 2010 with a lightly customized logon page. Unless I missed one of the bullet points in the last release, Exchange wouldn't scale terribly well to 500 million users without spending obscene amounts of money. Also, Exchange is geared towards providing information sharing between users through Outlook, and there's no ads in Outlook.

mail.facebook.com is probably just company email for Zuckerberg and his employees.

i really doubt this can take on gmail
gmail has and will have more features like calling a phone sending sms , video calling

But of course the people that will use facebook mail will be the ones that dont know anything and stay on facebook 24/7 the ones that are over obsessed

sweet5695 said,
i really doubt this can take on gmail
gmail has and will have more features like calling a phone sending sms , video calling

But of course the people that will use facebook mail will be the ones that dont know anything and stay on facebook 24/7 the ones that are over obsessed


Or, just the people who prefer it to Gmail?

I really dislike Gmail. At the moment I prefer Hotmail. However, if I decide to use Facebook's new email offerring, it won't be because I "don't know anything" or because I'm "over-obbsessed;" it'll be because I prefer it, due to the features benefitting me.

You mention some features Gmail has over other providers, but you fail to realise some of us don't want those features and won't use them.

I might actually use it just because somehow or another my main gmail gets so much spam now it sucks. I will never delete it just because of what it is ... but bleh I hate spam :l

What has me concerned is where are the usernames for this email address coming from? Are they just taking the usernames that the members already have. Such that a user with:

facebook.com/username-goes-here

Winds up with an email along the lines of:

username-goes-here@facebook.com?

If so, this is gonna be a huge disaster for Facebook. Those usernames are publicly known and available - it's very easy to get ahold of Facebook usernames. What does that mean? Someone with a bot just has to gather a list of every username on Facebook, append @facebook.com to every one of those usernames, and you have a list of spam targets 500 million users strong.

Not only does this mean that Facebook users will get spammed like there's no tomorrow, but Facebook's servers may not even be able to handle all the load of the incoming spam mail.

This has epic fail written all over it.

Joey H said,

This has epic fail written all over it.

Yet, logically, you will only be able to receive mail from people on your friends list, and as your friend would have to be logged-in to send the email, spam mail as you describe simply cannot happen.

Fish said,

Yet, logically, you will only be able to receive mail from people on your friends list, and as your friend would have to be logged-in to send the email, spam mail as you describe simply cannot happen.

If that's the way it's gonna work, I don't see how it will take on GMail at all - you can't use it for web forms, you can't put it on your business cards, you can't use it for advertisements, it's no different than the current messaging system.

Fish said,

Yet, logically, you will only be able to receive mail from people on your friends list, and as your friend would have to be logged-in to send the email, spam mail as you describe simply cannot happen.

How is that at all logical? They already have a messaging facility to send messages to people on Facebook (on your friends list or otherwise). Why would they limit email? That makes no sense what-so-ever.

Joey H said,
What has me concerned is where are the usernames for this email address coming from? Are they just taking the usernames that the members already have. Such that a user with:

facebook.com/username-goes-here

Winds up with an email along the lines of:

username-goes-here@facebook.com?

If so, this is gonna be a huge disaster for Facebook. Those usernames are publicly known and available - it's very easy to get ahold of Facebook usernames. What does that mean? Someone with a bot just has to gather a list of every username on Facebook, append @facebook.com to every one of those usernames, and you have a list of spam targets 500 million users strong.

Not only does this mean that Facebook users will get spammed like there's no tomorrow, but Facebook's servers may not even be able to handle all the load of the incoming spam mail.

This has epic fail written all over it.

This is just what I was thinking.
facemail - heaven for spam.

In my friend list I have like 30 clubs,30shops,30 others friends, I wont go counting pages "I like" or games I played which gather my profile informations and they could easily spam my facemail.

Joey H said,
What has me concerned is where are the usernames for this email address coming from? Are they just taking the usernames that the members already have. Such that a user with:

facebook.com/username-goes-here

Winds up with an email along the lines of:

username-goes-here@facebook.com?

If so, this is gonna be a huge disaster for Facebook. Those usernames are publicly known and available - it's very easy to get ahold of Facebook usernames. What does that mean? Someone with a bot just has to gather a list of every username on Facebook, append @facebook.com to every one of those usernames, and you have a list of spam targets 500 million users strong.

Not only does this mean that Facebook users will get spammed like there's no tomorrow, but Facebook's servers may not even be able to handle all the load of the incoming spam mail.

This has epic fail written all over it.


That's an interesting post.

I wonder how Facebook have decided to get around the problem of spam. They must have thought of something.

I don't see how GMail could be overrun anytime soon. Facebook is awesome, don't get me wrong. Otherwise there wouldn't be that many users +500M (then again, as mentioned in other comments, it's not +500M "active" users).
But Facemail will simply be another electronic mail choice, along with GMail, Yahoo and Hotmail, but certainly won't ocerrun any of them.. I don't think.
Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing what Microsoft and Facebook will bring next. Their teaming up was an intelligent move on their part, expecially compatibility wise. I mean, they're both online leaders of the world today, (Facebook probably being the fastest achiever of all time) why wouldn't they try to run the others over, any source of power would.

Could easily work, with lots of promotion and being really easy to make and use. Think of all the people who find it hard to make a g-mail, yahoo or hotmail account.

Why would they want to kill Gmail when it only holds 15% of the mail market? In perspective, Yahoo owns 44% and Hotmail owns 30%

Omen1393 said,
Why would they want to kill Gmail when it only holds 15% of the mail market? In perspective, Yahoo owns 44% and Hotmail owns 30%

I think it's because most of the people that know anything about technology know that gmail raised the bar pretty high so everything else tends to strive to that end. ...Thus, the "Gmail killer" term is born.

Caleo said,

I think it's because most of the people that know anything about technology know that gmail raised the bar pretty high so everything else tends to strive to that end. ...Thus, the "Gmail killer" term is born.

That would imply that Gmail is the de facto best webmail around the market, but it isn't.

Caleo said,

I think it's because most of the people that know anything about technology know that gmail raised the bar pretty high so everything else tends to strive to that end. ...Thus, the "Gmail killer" term is born.


Not really. I tried gmail and didnt like it. Does that not make me know about technology?

Its a personal opinion/choice.

I can't see this killing Gmail as Gmail is amazing and Facebook already has privacy concerns as they are constantly changing policies and leaking personal information.

omnicoder said,
I can't see this killing Gmail as Gmail is amazing and Facebook already has privacy concerns as they are constantly changing policies and leaking personal information.

+1 another way for people to give away there information facebook must be laughing these people!

omnicoder said,
I can't see this killing Gmail as Gmail is amazing and Facebook already has privacy concerns as they are constantly changing policies and leaking personal information.
Agreed. I have a facebook account but never use it, therefore I will never use their email system either. Add to the privacy concerns that many are worried about and IMO it won't even compare to gmail.

omnicoder said,
I can't see this killing Gmail as Gmail is amazing and Facebook already has privacy concerns as they are constantly changing policies and leaking personal information.

BTW, Google also has privacy concerns. Worse than Facebook, no but...

"Gmail killer" - lol. Good luck "facemail". One letter astray from facepalm.

Gmail is more than good enough for me, so unless facemail does something incredible, I'll be sticking to gmail with lite ads, straightforward UI, and many many awesome features.

Caleo said,
"Gmail killer" - lol. Good luck "facemail". One letter astray from facepalm.

Gmail is more than good enough for me, so unless facemail does something incredible, I'll be sticking to gmail with lite ads, straightforward UI, and many many awesome features.


"Facemail" automatically would have 500 million+ users.

Gmail doesnt.

aftas said,

"Facemail" automatically would have 500 million+ users.

Gmail doesnt.


But who guarantees even 10% of those users will actually use facemail? Or even if there interface is up to par with other emails out there such as Windows Live mail (hotmail) or gmail for that matter

aftas said,

"Facemail" automatically would have 500 million+ users.

Gmail doesnt.

this 500 million users that is always being quoted, are those active members or people who either just got a Facebook account and never used it or used but got fed up with Facebook privacy screwups. Facebook would be the last place I would use for email after their stella track record for not maintaining privacy.

aftas said,
"Facemail" automatically would have 500 million+ users.
Gmail doesnt.

Why would someone with a brain go for "facemail"?

aftas said,

"Facemail" automatically would have 500 million+ users.

Gmail doesnt.

Wrong.

"Facemail" will automatically have 500 million+ registrations.

In terms of active users, numbers will be much, much smaller.

It's like taking sales numbers for a console system or a game or something, and saying thats how many users your console/game has....no...thats how many it has sold, take a count of how many individuals actually use your console/game on a regular basis and you will have a more accurate (and smaller) figure.

aftas said,

"Facemail" automatically would have 500 million+ users.

Gmail doesnt.

I doubt many users would use it....I rarely ever use the private message box on facebook as it is.

Gmail > facebook will ever be.

And as someone else said 500million is just total accounts, Active users would be like 300 maybe 350 i bet!

Baked said,

And as someone else said 500million is just total accounts, Active users would be like 300 maybe 350 i bet!

That's still several times more active users than Gmail has.

AKLP said,

Why would someone with a brain go for "facemail"?

+1 Yep!

I use Facebook but to Play games and check, but I don't post any type of personal info on it.
I rather keep my gmail then use Facemail and have them leak ALL my info out.

Draconian Guppy said,

But who guarantees even 10% of those users will actually use facemail? Or even if there interface is up to par with other emails out there such as Windows Live mail (hotmail) or gmail for that matter

They will get people to use it. Might directly replace their private message system....


BTW, I hate and dont use Facebook (although Im seeing a future where Im going to be forced to use it ) so Im not understanding all the comments against me as Im not defending them just stating the facts.

aftas said,

"Facemail" automatically would have 500 million+ users.

Gmail doesnt.

Aha! But isn't automatically opting in users whether they wanted or not what got Buzz in trouble? If you say that they aren't then you're contradicting yourself