Via the Chicago Tribune:
Without asking for permission, Facebook has changed users’ listed email address to one ending in “@facebook.com.”
The @facebook.com email service was announced in 2010, but it hasn’t really gained traction as a replacement to other email service. It makes sense for the social network to want to promote its own service, but the way it’s gone about it is sure to upset some people.
Facebook has 900 million users. Over half of these users log in every day, with that number rising thanks to mobile devices. Chances are that when one of these 900 people want to share something online, they use Facebook to do it. These are captive users. They’re not going to end up on Myspace or Friendster anytime soon. All their friends are on Facebook, so it makes sense to use the social network – it actually does a good job of connecting people.
Facebook has only one problem: Its users don’t trust it. And if anyone was starting to feel a glimmer of hope that Facebook was trying to earn its users trust, they lost it thanks to this move.
The email switcheroo is an unbelievably boneheaded move. It adds nothing for Facebook or it users. It only serves to breed contempt and mistrust for Mark Zuckerberg’s social monopoly.
If Facebook were to work to make users trust the site, there would be no stopping it. Imagine a social network loved as much as Apple. That is what Facebook’s ultimate goal should be. Instead, this email change makes users feel like hostages. Has Facebook not learned a thing from any of their previous privacy and profile snafus in the last eight years?
Changing information that users list on their profile without asking is an egregious abuse of their power. Now, more than ever, we need an alternative to Facebook.
Instructions on how to put your email field back the way it was can be found here.