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Swatting down recent rumors that it’s launching an e-mail killer, Facebook today unveiled a new messaging system that will envelope e-mail, instant messages, Facebook messages and SMS.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched what he calls a “modern messaging system” to handle the convergence of different kinds of messages and bring them together under one social umbrella. The system is designed to save all messages for five years, meaning users will have a history of their communications.
Although people will now be able to have a facebook.com e-mail address, Andrew Bosworth, a software engineer at Facebook, noted that the new system will work with other e-mail systems, such as Gmail and Yahoo mail.
At this point, the messaging system — code-named Titan — will not include voice chat. Zuckerberg said that should be coming down the road, but offered no timeline.
For the last three or four days, the Internet has been abuzz with speculation that Facebook was getting ready to launch an e-mail killer. Zuckerberg kicked off today’s news event by saying that’s not the case.
“There was a lot of press leading up to this saying this is an e-mail killer,” he added. “This is not an e-mail killer. It’s a messaging system that has e-mail as one part of it. I don’t expect people to wake up tomorrow and say, ‘I’m going to shut down my Yahoo account or my Gmail account.’ We expect that more people will IM and more people will message just because it’s simpler and easier and it’s more fun and valuable to use.”
Zuckerberg and Bosworth also pointed out that the messaging system doesn’t exclude non-Facebook users. Users will be able to send and receive messages from people who aren’t on Facebook.
The Facebook CEO also noted that the messaging system will give users different messaging channels.
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