Facebook email change: How to change your new @facebook.com email address

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- If you're a Facebook user, you have a @facebook.com email address, whether you use it or not. Facebook is now automatically posting those addresses to users' profiles and displaying them as the default email address.

Cue the backlash. Facebook told CNNMoney the change has been rolling out for "a few weeks," but many users weren't aware of it until a spate of blog posts and news articles began drawing attention to it on Monday.

"Speaking of hating your users. Facebook forces everyone onto its email system. Really, Facebook?! Really?!" tweeted freelance tech journalist Ron Miller.

Blogger Gervase Markham, one of the first to draw attention to the change, was scathing in his comments on it.

"Facebook silently inserted themselves into the path of formerly-direct unencrypted communications from people who want to email me. In other contexts, this is known as a Man In The Middle (MITM) attack," he wrote, referring to a tactic hackers use to intercept electronic messages. "What on earth do they think they are playing at?"

Facebook seemed surprised by the reaction.

"We basically defaulted to show your Facebook address as we rolled this out, just to keep it consistent for everyone," said Meredith Chin, Facebook's manager of product communications.

She repeated the word "consistent" several times in her attempt to explain Facebook's rationale for the change.

It's part of a relatively new "Timeline" profile set-up process that lets users change their privacy settings for each post displayed on their Timeline page. The e-mail move "is similar to that. It's an additional visibility setting," she said.

Users can change the setting and show whatever email address they like, but by default, the visible address will be @facebook.com.

The change hasn't hit all accounts yet, but it will roll out eventually to all of Facebook's 900 million users, Chin confirmed.

That means many users will start getting email messages at an @facebook.com account they might otherwise never use.

That's the kind of change Facebook users tend to get very angry about when they're not warned in advance -- and it's something Facebook has a bad habit of doing. The site is notorious for its "mess up and apologize" approach.

Chin couldn't elaborate on why Facebook didn't communicate the email change before it happened.

"We as a company know we're always under a microscope, but sometimes there are certain things..." Chin said, trailing off. "Well, you plan for everything to be as loud as possible. But sometimes things come up that we need to be better about."

How to fix it:

Users who want to stop the @facebook.com address from showing up on their profiles can do so by editing their "Contact Info" sections.

You have two options for any email addresses associated with your Facebook profile: "shown on Timeline" or "hidden from Timeline." By default, Facebook is setting your @facebook.com address to be "shown on Timeline" and hiding the rest. To change that, switch your @facebook.com email address to be "hidden from Timeline," and set a different email to be "shown on Timeline."

For a fuller step-by-step way to change your email Gizmodo.com has outlined the  following instructions to change your default email back to whatever you wanted to be:

1) Go to your timeline and click "About" under your contact info.
2) Scroll to "Contact info" and select edit.
3) Switch the crossed out circle symbols to a full circle for the inbox options you want to be seen on your profile.
4) If you want to deselect your Facebook email account, switch it from the full circle to the crossed out circle, to hide it from your timeline.

Read Gizmodo's full article here. http://bit.ly/Q58Vdr

Facebook may "write a post about this, if there continues to be some confusion around it," Chin said.

But an after-the-fact blog post probably won't calm angry users, and it certainly won't staunch the ink that's been devoted to Facebook's move -- or the philosophy behind it.

Many articles characterized the change as a ham-fisted way for Facebook to push its email system, which it first announced in in late 2010. At that time the company said its goal was to integrate conversations across multiple channels of communication -- text messages, Facebook chat, email, etc.

Forbes summed up the conventional wisdom on Monday with a simple headline on its post: "Facebook's Lame Attempt To Force Its Email Service On You."

Facebook, of course, doesn't agree with that assessment.

"I'm seeing this whole meme around the idea that it's us pushing for people only to use facebook.com addresses," Chin said. "That was not our intention. We want people to use whatever's easier for them."

Kristal Roberts of abcactionnews.com contributed to this report

 
™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


Comments

Read more

Motorcyclists taunt police officer on San Francisco highway (VIDEO) Motorcyclists taunt police officer on San Francisco highway (VIDEO)

A YouTube video shows a group of motorcyclists challenging a police officer on a San Francisco highway.

Los Angeles Woman who stabbed pencils in eyes sues over photo Los Angeles Woman who stabbed pencils in eyes sues over photo

A woman who stabbed pencils in her eyes during a suicide attempt is suing Los Angeles County, claiming her photo was snapped at a hospital and went viral online.

Isis Lawson: Woman says her name is causing problems because of ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq & Syria Isis Lawson: Woman says her name is causing problems because of ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq & Syria

Woman named "Isis" says her name is causing problems following the rise of the militants fighting to take over Iraq and Syria.

Maryville, Tennessee, toddler climbs into toy machine, gets stuck Maryville, Tennessee, toddler climbs into toy machine, gets stuck

A toddler is safe after getting stuck in a toy machine this week in Tennessee.

Bear cub wanders into Oregon store Bear cub wanders into Oregon store

A black bear cub found wandering the aisles of an Oregon drugstore will be raised with the goal of releasing him into the wild next year.

Alan Knight: UK man faked coma for 2 years to avoid court Alan Knight: UK man faked coma for 2 years to avoid court

A fraudster who pretended to be quadriplegic and sometimes comatose for two years to avoid prosecution has been convicted after police caught him on camera driving and strolling around supermarkets.

Elaborate marriage proposal takes 17 months to organize Elaborate marriage proposal takes 17 months to organize

A marriage proposal that took 17 months to organize, and included 18 round trip tickets with a finish in the Rose Bowl, went perfectly according to plan.

Thomas Artiaga: Good Samaritan who rescued a man from a burning home steps forward Thomas Artiaga: Good Samaritan who rescued a man from a burning home steps forward

Good Samaritan who vanished after rescuing an elderly California man from a burning home returns to meet the man he saved.

Puppy Puppy 'drops dead' after chasing tail

It's no surprise to learn puppies can go from super energetic to very tired in a matter of moments, but it never gets old when it's caught on camera.

Touchdown of a lifetime Touchdown of a lifetime

Two Wisconsin high school teams work together to give one very special fan a moment of a lifetime.