You know it is going to be a busy day when you  login to Facebook, go to check your messages, and Facebook tells you that you can now start sending and receiving email to external email addresses.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the notification from Facebook that their email system is now active and I am the proud owner of the email address.

I have always been an advocate of managing your brand and taking every opportunity to claim usernames and user accounts when presented with the opportunity.  When any new service becomes available (eg: Yahoo, Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, SlideShare, MySpace, etc), I always took a few moments to open an account and claim my personal name and my business name.  Being the first to claim your name puts you in the driver’s seat in regards to brand management and marketing.

Now, what to do with this new method for communication?  First up was to test the new Facebook email account. After running through the prompts, the email system appears to be up and running.  No configuration is required.

The interface is simple.  In the “To:” field you start by entering and email address. In my example I used:  When complete, hit the Tab key and move to the “Message:” section; no subject fields yet.  Conversations are base on people and the message thread.  I am holding off on comment for this style of message management until I get a few more conversations in the queue.

Facebook designed the email system right with the email gateway.  Messages are transferred from the Facebook system to external email systems with little delay.   Inbound messages are just as fast.   At first inspection it looks good.  Will have to monitor performance as usage increases over the next few weeks.

Kudos to Facebook for implementing a much needed feature.  Enabling the email feature will allows Facebook users and non-Facebook users to communicate.  This is a big step for Facebook as it is transitioning from a social medial platform to a communications platform.

Let’s hope you claimed your Facebook username

Stewart Savage, Abaton Consulting

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