In a blog post today, MailRank announced that its founders would be moving to Facebook in December. Is Facebook trying to revamp last year’s failed email experiment? For now, the answer is no. Facebook is not acquiring any technology or other assets from MailRank. We reached out to a Facebook spokesperson who confirmed that this announcement only has to do with the actual hiring of MailRank co-founders.
Last year Facebook tried to get into the email game. Its Project Titan was dubbed a “Gmail killer” and gave users @facebook.com email addresses. Zuckerberg claimed that it wasn’t really about email but still, users didn’t bite.
Just last month, email turned 40. Yet we’ve all seen those “end of email era” type articles floating around the web, like this one, circa 2009.
As of right now, Bryan and Bethanye will discontinue the private beta of MailRank for Outlook to focus on their new jobs at Facebook.
But one thing’s for sure: People send 294 billion emails every day. And that’s a heckuva lot of data.
We’re here at the Facebook Event at Yerba Buena Terrace, and Mark Zuckerberg is about to take the stage to talk presumably Facebook’s new mail client, Project Titan. From what we hear this isn’t just an outgrowth of Facebook’s messaging feature, this will be a full on web client like Gmail except leveraging your social graph.
There’s been quite a lot of speculation since the invites went out last week on what this announcement would entail; Whether the general public would get POP and IMAP support and and whether we should expect @facebook.com email addresses or @fb.com email addresses as well what exactly being able to export your Facebook contacts to your Gmail and vice versa will mean Â for users.
Stay tuned for updates and tune into the Livestream of the announcement, which starts at 10:00 am, above.
Project Titan is coming. On Monday. That’s what we’ve heard from sources with knowledge of Facebook’s secret mail project. And since we broke that news, there has been a lot of speculation about what domain Facebook might use for these new email addresses. Currently, the popular choice is fb.com. But while it seemed like Facebook acquired it earlier this year, no one knew for sure. Now it looks like we do.
As the site Domain Name Wire points out, the Whois record for the domain name has just been updated. While Markmonitor.com is still listed as the registrar name, Facebook is all over the records now as well. Most importantly, the domain namespace servers are now pointing to facebook.com. And Facebook is listed as both the administrative and technical contact.
This doesn’t mean that Facebook will use it for their mail project. But the timing is interesting, obviously. AllFacebook also reports that Facebook is using fb.com internally now.
Back in February we wrote about Facebook’s secret Project Titan â€”Â a web-based email client that we hear is unofficially referred to internally as its “Gmail killer”. Now we’ve heard from sources that this is indeed what’s coming on Monday during Facebook’s special event, alongside personal @facebook.com email addresses for users.
This isn’t a big surprise â€”Â the event invites Facebook sent out hinted strongly that the news would have something to do with its Inbox, sparking plenty of speculation that the event could be related to Titan. Our understanding is that this is more than just a UI refresh for Facebook’s existing messaging service with POP access tacked on. Rather, Facebook is building a full-fledged webmail client, and while it may only be in early stages come its launch Monday, there’s a huge amount of potential here.
Facebook has the world’s most popular photos product, the most popular events product, and soon will have a very popular local deals product as well. Â It can tweak the design of its webmail client to display content from each of these in a seamless fashion (and don’t forget messages from games, or payments via Facebook Credits).Â And there’s also the social element: Facebook knows who your friends are and how closely you’re connected to them; it can probably do a pretty good job figuring out which personal emails you want to read most and prioritize them accordingly.
Oh, and assuming our sources prove accurate, this explains the timing of theÂ Google/Facebook slap fight over contact information.
We’ll keep digging for more details and will have full coverage on Monday.