Facebook quietly ends email address system

Mark Zuckerberg in front of next generation messaging slide Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of email in 2010.

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Facebook has quietly closed its three-year-old email service that gave users "@facebook.com" email addresses.

From now on, emails sent to an "@facebook.com" address will be forwarded to the personal email address from which the member signed up for the site.

"We're making this change because most people haven't been using their Facebook email address," said a Facebook spokesperson.

The change will happen in early March.

The service was launched in November 2010 and billed as a way to streamline users' communication by providing a single inbox that could receive Facebook messages, SMS texts, and conventional emails.

It came under fire in 2012 when Facebook replaced users' published email addresses with their "@facebook.com" email on their profile.

The company later reversed course.

The move comes just a few days after Facebook's surprise purchase of messaging app WhatsApp for $19bn (£11.4bn).

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