As Facebook positions themselves as the ultimate identity and communication platform, they are planning to make some big moves soon… like building an email system. Why email? Well, it’s a logical addition to their platform since they have your real identity and all your contacts. Pictured left, is a screenshot of Facebook’s current messaging system (FYI, this is not real email). When they launch a real email system, this could potentially put a dent into other email services (like Gmail, Y! Mail, Aolmail, etc).
Why is there potential in Facebook email? Well, if you check out the AddThis Service Directory, you’ll notice the fastest growing trends are email services. Here are some numbers, based on the last 30 days of data:
Email App: Has grown 122% (pictured left)
AddThis Email: Is the 2nd most used service on the AddThis platform, just behind Facebook. It has grown 5.09%.
Y! Mail: Has grown 21.46%
Gmail: Has grown 56.35%
Hotmail: Has grown 21.26%
AOL Mail: Has grown 11.3%
When you combine all the numbers and consider the growth, there’s no question that email is one of the most popular ways to share. Everyone can email, even your mom. On the other hand, she’d have to be really savvy to communicate and share on Twitter. This is why Facebook email has huge potential—everyone, including your mom, will be able to use Facebook to message back and forth with their friends. By moving into the email space, Facebook can collect more data and retarget you and your friends with their ads. That’s money in the bank. So, how much data will they have?
As it is today, Facebook makes up nearly 1/3 of all the sharing on the AddThis platform. If you combined Facebook + Facebook Email, they could potentially command a larger portion of sharing. From the perspective of AddThis, Facebook could collect even more data and traffic. So there’s probably some big money there.