UPDATE: Facebook unveiled a new communications system on Monday that consolidates different e-mails, live chats from multplie clients, and cell phone text messages into one continuous stream of information. The new platform will also introduce an @facebook.com address.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg says traditional e-mail and checking different accounts is inefficient and believes a single live stream is a natural progression for web 3.0.
"If we do a good job, some people will say this is the way that the future will work," Zuckerberg said.
Gmail, AOL chats, and a host of other online communication clients can be redirected to the Facebook account.
Since it is a live stream, e-mail will feel more like chatting. There are no subject lines or CC or BCC. The e-mail can be send by just hitting the enter key.
Users will also have the option of prioritizing e-mails/chats/text messages from friends and setting aside people they aren't as close with. Facebook users will automatically be enrolled in the @facebook.com service, with the facebook account user name as the default for the email address e.g. faceboook.com/linews would translate to firstname.lastname@example.org
Zuckerberg say the new format reflects the tendencies of younger but growing demographics who use more immediate chats because it's simpler, "more fun" and more valuable to use.
According to a 2009 survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, text messaging has surpassed face-to-face contact, e-mail, phone calls and instant messaging as the primary form of communication for U.S. teens.
The new Facebook communication service is set to be rolled out in the up coming weeks.
As if we're not all spending enough time on Facebook, word is trickling out that the company may be about to launch a "gmail killer" e-mail client.
According to TechCrunch, the social media giant's "special event" later today in San Francisco will unveil a new e-mail system, dubbed "Project Titan" internally.
Last week Google and Facebook got into a spat about getting contact info between Facebook and Gmail in sync. Things are now likely to heat up between the two, with the reported announcement and rumors that Google is working on a competing social network.
In other e-mail news, AOL has launched a revamp of its e-mail product, called "Project Phoenix" in an attempt to revamp its mail product.
Check back later today for an update on the new Facebook mail.