Tuesday, 26 June 2012

FaceBook Develops Inbuilt SPAM System aka Gives Users Personal Email Addresses

You may or may not have seen that FaceBook recently issued all users with their own FaceBook email address.

What does this mean?

What in essence it means is that you now have an email address you can use with the FaceBook messaging system, the email takes the form of {username}@facebook.com and any email sent to that email will appear in your FaceBook messages, just like direct messages sent via FaceBook.

This does means that now your FaceBook account is freely open to receive SPAM from people who are not your facebook friends, so get ready for the marketing material.

Why?

This email is an attempt by FaceBook to further get people to use the website and become more relient on FaceBook, by bringing use of the website into your main stream life. So no longer will you ust use FaceBook to keep up to date with your friends, but you will now use it for direct communications with people that may not be your FaceBook friends.

It is a direct attempt by FaceBook to increase the user numbers and use of the website, as they continue to face an uphill struggle to define exactly what FaceBook is and where it fits into peoples lives. This now takes a direct attack on GMail and other email systems, but just on a different style and a direct attempt to increase user engagement on FaceBook.

Its not so bad though as it does mean that you can use FaceBook as your messaging system and not get stuff you dont want to your main account.

What if I dont like this?

First off you have the email address no matter what, and as its free so I would just leave it at that and either use it or not, its your choice.

The only thing I would say is that your FaceBook email will now be shown on your profile as your default email, so if you dont want to use it you need to change this back to your original email address, which is straight forward, just do the following.
  1. Go to your profile page on FaceBook i.e facebook.com/you, either go to your private facebook url directly or just click your name on the right of the facebook screen.
  2. Click on the about section, the bit with your work, education, location, etc on the left handside under your name and profile pic.
  3. Scroll down to to the Contact info section, just on the right below your basic info, click on Edit.
  4. You should now see a popup with all your emails listed at the top.
  5. Next to the FaceBook email click next to the circle and change the option in the drop down to hidden from timeline, then if you want an email shown on your timeline, next to the one you want click next to the circle with a line through it and select shown on timeline.
  6. Then just scroll down and click save.
Thats it you are now showing your original email rather than your FaceBook one.

SPAM

Now here is my prediction for the FaceBook email future, in one word SPAM. by using peoples usernames means that anyone can create a huge email list of facebook users, and anyone with any development skill at all and using the FaceBook Open Graph API can now harvest a vast amount of email addresses, to which they can send spam, in fact just by spending sometime on FaceBook can turn up usernames and thus email addresses.

What this means is that unlike normal email systems with inbuilt SPAM filters the email system is an open door to crap, and the most you get is a small yellow triangle warning you of the inability to authenticate the sender. But you still get the SPAM. You dont have to be friends with people to send them FaceBook email, so lets open the FaceBook SPAM floodgates.

Thanks
Sean J Connolly
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Follow Me @Potissimus

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