Facebook recently announced that it was discontinuing the Facebook.com email address it introduced back in 2010, causing many people to ask, "I had a Facebook.com email address?"
Yes, in fact, you did. Many of you still do, as the change is rolling out throughout the month of March. With this email service, if someone wanted to email your Facebook address (which apparently, nobody did), they could simply put the username from your profile URL before @Facebook.com. Their message would then show up among your other Facebook messages, as if they'd clicked "send message" within the Facebook interface.
While the rationale behind creating this system had its heart in the right place, it just didn't catch on the way the social network had hoped. According to The Verge, Facebook said, "It seems wrong that an email message from your best friend gets sandwiched between a bill and a bank statement," in their announcement post. Apparently, that just didn't resonate with users and the service went underused.
So what will happen to those email addresses once the change rolls out? Well, they'll still work, actually. But instead of sending messages to your Facebook messages inbox where you might possibly see them, they will soon start being forwarded to the email address you used to sign up for Facebook many moons ago. If you're like me, this aging email address became a lightning rod for spam long ago, and you have since abandoned it greener pastures (aka, Gmail). In which case, your one hipster friend who decided to adopt the @Facebook.com email system might be sending important emails that you will never see.
There are two ways to avoid this: You can go into your General Settings and add/update your primary email with Facebook so that your messages forward to an account where you will see them. Another option is to discontinue forwarding of these messages by turning off the option through an interface that will be showing up in your General Settings soon.
One more thing to note here is that for those who were using the Facebook.com emails, message threads that included these messages will become read-only. You will still be able to see them, but you will have to start a new conversation to keep responding.
How will this change affect you? Will you not even notice, as this delightfully wry article from TechCrunch suggests? Let us know!