MySpace set to launch webmail service

The social networking website MySpace is set to launch a new email service this week, offering users their own email address. Just what you always wanted, eh?

According to paidContent, the launch will begin on Thursday and initially be low key, building up towards a full roll out sometime before the end of this year. MySpace has already tested the service with a few members and their feedback has been taken into account for the public launch, with the changes and tweaking process being ongoing.

The new email service will compliment the existing MySpace Mail personal messaging system and, because it is a brand new feature and things could easily go wrong once used on a larger scale, the availability to MySpace members will be gradual. The process of the roll out is still unclear, as is whether it will be available outside the US, but with a reported 130 million users worldwide - 70 million of those being in the US - it could become a major free email provider if the take up by existing members is large.

With visitors to MySpace declining recently, as Facebook becomes the social network of choice for many, this move could help give it back an edge over its rival. Most MySpace users are fairly young and might be more open to switching from services like Hotmail to the new service, which would also give them a larger attachment to the MySpace brand and website.

paidContent report that MySpace chief product officer Jason Hirschhorn is now behind the project, which has been in the works for a fair few months. paidContent were also told that the team working on the service is located in Seattle and includes lots of former Microsoft employees who worked on Hotmail. At the time of writing, director of product management at MySpace and one of the team - Rajit Marwah - currently has his MySpace status update set as "people send me some clean emails to my myspace for a screenshot", a nice confirmation of the news.

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