After causing a raucous week by changing users' listed email addresses to ones ending in @facebook.com, Facebook's switch is causing yet another embarrassment for the company and problem for many users.One of the things that got me using Facebook was that it enabled me to keep in touch or get in touch with old friends by finding their conact information, and they could get in touch with me by finding my e-mail address. But Facebook went and destroyed that functionality by replacing my real e-mail address with a bogus one, because the @facebook.com address that they replaced it with doesn't even work. I've sent a few test e-mails to it, and none of them have shown up on Facebook.
The email switch has gone beyond the walls of Facebook, according to various users, who are saying that the change is affecting the emails listed in their contact books.
Across the Web, people are saying the emails listed for many of their contacts in their address books have been replaced by @facebook.com emails.
OK, I've changed my bogus e-mail address back to my real one, but most of my friends haven't, because most of them probably don't even know that Facebook has changed their addresses.
So Facebook have destroyed their own most usefulm function.
But it's worse than that, they've changed the address books on lots of people's mobile phones, if they were linked to Facebook, and as a result people are losing important e-mail's because Facebook have hijacked their address books. Perhaps that should be the subject of a class action lawsuit, sueing Facebook for interfering with people's mail.
The Facebook Email Fiasco Might Be Worse Than We Thought (Updated)
CNET reports a multitude of user complaints after the big obnoxious switch-over, citing claims that Facebook is "changing their address books while intercepting and losing unknown amounts of e-mail." Some Facebookers are seeing messages (inadvertently) sent to their @facebook accounts vanishing into nothing, while others have noticed every email address in their phone overwritten by Facebook:
So maybe it's time to bail out of Facebook.
What is the alternative?
Well there are things like Linked-in, and Google+, and for the academically incline, academia.edu but perhaps it's time for Google to dust off their little-known and well-hidden alternative to Facebook: Orkut.
They don't show it any more in the Google menus.They don't publicise it at all, but it has thousands of users in Latin America and Asia, where it has been very popular.
So how about joining Orkut now, and then leaving messages on Facebook asking all your Facebook friends to meet you there?
I'll be visiting Facebook a lot less frequently now, but I'll still let my Twitter tweets be posted on Facebook -- I just won't see many comments that people make on Facebook.