Recently, Google made the announcement that it would “turn off its popular email client’s data feed to social media websites like Facebook” based on lack of data reciprocity. Facebook, however, found a workaround for users to transfer contact information from Google’s email client, Gmail, by providing their users a two-step solution by adding a link that allows users to first move Gmail contacts to a computer and then in step two the contacts are uploaded to Facebook. “Surrendering to defeat, Google replied that ‘[a]s passionate believers that people should be able to control the data they create, we will continue to allow our users to export their Google contacts.’” The initial act of turning off Gmail’s data feed is speculated to be borne out of a deal struck between Facebook and Microsoft that allows user data to power the Bing search engine, Google’s competitor.
Amidst the data dispute, Reuters now reports that ‘someone familiar with the subject’ has announced to the press that Facebook will unveil at an invitation only special event on Monday “across-the-board” changes to their messaging system. The changes “introduce a full-fledged Web-based email product… along with providing users @facebook.com email addresses.” It is speculated that this move could escalate competition between the social media giant of 500,000,000 plus users – Facebook, and Google who controls approximately two-thirds of the search market world-wide.
Could Facebook’s changes to their messaging system eventually cause the death of Gmail? Stay tuned!