It seems like 900 million Facebook users have changed email addresses overnight. In an effort to improve members’ privacy, and also increase the use of @facebook.com email accounts (which go directly to the Facebook messages inbox), users’ old email addresses have disappeared from user profiles. The policy change happened seemingly overnight, and without notice.
The only thing other users with permission to see contact information will see is a user’s @facebook.com address. This might make it difficult for friends to find and reach a user through third-party email services. It does not affect primary email address, though — the one that Facebook uses to contact users directly.
But, what exactly is our Facebook emails? This is the same username that comes after the facebook.com domain when viewing your profile. For example, facebook.com/johndoe will have email address then our email address will now be firstname.lastname@example.org. For users who have not yet set up a vanity URL, the social network will use the user’s Facebook number, assigned during signup. With these email accounts, Facebook wants users to be able to communicate with outside email correspondents through Facebook.
To those aware, the policy was actually introduced in April this year :
Starting today, we’re updating addresses on Facebook to make them consistent across our site. Now, the address people use to get to your timeline and send you email on Facebook will be the same. Updated addresses will be rolled out over the next few weeks. Note: Anyone who already selected an email address will not be affected. If you want to choose an address today, visit facebook.com/username.
Facebook spokesperson Jillian Stefanki explained the benefit of this new policy. “Ever since the launch of timeline, people have had the ability to control what posts they want to show or hide on their own timelines, and today we’re extending that to other information they post, starting with the Facebook address.”
Stefanki also highlighted that the site is rolling out a setting that allows people to decide which email addresses to show on their pages. Users who rarely use their Facebook account to communicate with friends can revert to their previous email addresses. Simply click Edit in Contact Information field, click the circle next to your @facebook.com email address, select Hidden from Profile and the account will display the primary email instead.
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