Everyone, freak out! Facebook changes users’ default email to @facebook.com address

Facebook changes users' default email to @facebook.com address

In today’s edition of innocuous Facebook scandals, Ars Technica reports that the social network just up and changed everybody’s many users’ default email address to their (probably forgotten-about) @facebook.com email address. Shocking, I know. Sometimes the truth is hard to handle.

Update: Some commenters have noted that their accounts have not yet been affected by the change. I’ve updated the language to reflect this — though it seems likely that the email change-up will be implemented across all accounts soon.

The change, first uncovered by hacker Gervase Markham, means that any email messages you received through Facebook since Friday have been routed back into the Facebook Messages inbox, rather than into your email inbox. Annoying? Perhaps. Something to get really angry about? Perhaps — maybe you were expecting some highly time sensitive email to come through Facebook. But for the most part, we’d guess that people are more shocked that they have an @facebook email address than the fact that Facebook pulled a switcharoo.

Fortunately, switching back to your old email is easy. Gizmodo has the instructions here, but you can probably figure it out without reading a how-to guide.

The fact that Facebook did this without asking its users what they want doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Facebook does this kind of stuff all the time. And even when it gives users fair warnings about changes, they still flip their lids, wig out, and have a bloody conniption all over the Web. In fact, Facebook did give users warning (kind of) — all the way back in April. At at least one member of the DT staff received an email on Friday noting the change, though my email setting was changed without notice.

Regardless of notification, the question remains: Why did Facebook make the change? Mike Isaac of AllThingsD seems to me to have the right answer: Facebook wants “to upset our existing communications systems and replace them with its own,” he writes. Or, as Forbes writer Kashmir Hill puts it, Facebook is attempting to “force its email service on you.”

According to Facebook, however, the change is all about choice. Here’s what a Facebook spokesperson told Reuters’ social media honcho Matthew Keys:

As we announced back in April, we’ve been updating addresses on Facebook to make them consistent across our site.

In addition to everyone receiving an address, we’re also rolling out a new setting that gives people the choice to decide which addresses they want to show on their timelines.

Ever since the launch of timeline, people have had the ability to control what posts they want to show or hide on their own timelines, and today we’re extending that to other information they post, starting with the Facebook address.

Apparently Facebook realized that few users would willingly change their connected email address to an @facebook.com address unless they just did it for them, thus forcing users to actively switch back. Plus, by pushing the change on users, Facebook has successfully drummed up a scandal about which we in the tech press are all now writing.

So congratulations, Facebook. You’ve won again — by being a tactless jerk. Give yourself a pat on the back.

Social Media

Instagram hackers are changing account info into Russian email addresses

Have you logged in to your Instagram lately? A hack circulating this month has Instagram users locked out of their accounts because a hacker changed all the profile data, according to a report.

Sixth public beta of iOS 12 still lacks one key feature

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.

8 easy ways for you to transfer photos from an Android phone to a PC

If you haven't already, you should back up your photos to a computer. Here's how to transfer photos from an Android phone to a PC using third-party services and a wealth of storage devices.
Movies & TV

'Westworld' creators hint at characters they have big plans for in season 3

HBO wrapped up the second season of Westworld with a finale that asked as many questions as it answered, leaving fans eager to know more about season 3. Here's everything we know so far about the show's next act.
Social Media

Three million people quit Snapchat after the redesign

After a million users signed petitions to get the old Snapchat back, the network's user count is showing the early results of the changes with a three-million-user drop in daily active users.
Social Media

Facebook wants to help you find a mentor with its latest Groups feature

Facebook is designed for connecting to other people -- so why not mentors? Today, Facebook launched a program inside Groups that allows for two users to go through a mentorship program together.

The numbers don’t lie: Facebook is faltering. So what will eventually replace it?

Facebook is faltering, and the data prove it. User growth is slowing, employee outlooks are dipping, and young people are looking elsewhere. But for Facebook to fail, an alternative must arise. Who will it be?
Social Media

Facebook’s less cluttered friend list feeds are no more

Facebook friend feeds created a more curated news feed -- but not anymore. Facebook discontinued the feature, saying it wasn't widely used. The move will help the network focus on improving the news feed, the company says.

Starting a vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability.

For Monaris, it’s a photography career launched on an iPhone and Instagram

On Instagram, she's known just as Monaris. But street photographer Paola Franqui has built a following largely with an iPhone and a smile. We sat down with her to talk photography, style, and Instagram, of course.

Marco? Polo! Let's explore the app known as the 'video walkie-talkie'

Marco Polo has been dubbed the "video walkie-talkie," but how does the video messaging app stack up against competitors like Snapchat and Instagram? From unique filters to personalized video messages, we explore the Marco Polo app.
Social Media

Kids can now initiate a friend request on Messenger Kids by using a password

Facebook's messaging app for the under-13 crowd required parents, not kids, to initiate the process of adding a friend. Now kids can start the process by using a unique passphrase -- a feature that still requires parental approval.

The Nixplay Iris might just make digital picture frames cool again

The digital picture frame's popularity has fizzled because of time-consuming updates and low quality -- but can a Wi-Fi connected frame change that? The Nixplay Iris is an 8-inch smart digital picture frame that wireless updates photos.
Social Media

New deal suggests Facebook is looking to add sweet interactive tools for Live

Facebook now owns a company that specializes in creating interactive live video experiences with polls, viewer comments, and more. Vidpresso says the change will help it bring the interactive tools to more users.