(Written by Luke Davies)

No matter how you view your daily dose of news, you can’t fail to have seen that Facebook has apparently killed conventional email. There is now no longer any need for Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo, as Facebook messages will allow you to communicate with your friends using one of several mediums – text messages, Facebook messages and chat and conventional, boring email using the @Facebook.com domain name. The new service will also filter out those dull emails that aren’t from your Facebook friends, such as emails from banks, newsletters, friends that aren’t on Facebook, your family, etc.

Clearly, this won’t kill Gmail. So many people have their entire online lives based around a pre-existing email service that swapping completely to Facebook Messages would be more hassle than it is worth. The people who will use the new service will be those who are already strong advocates of Facebook. I have no problems with Gmail. Spam is filtered very effectively, and I already get alerts if someone gets in contact with me on Facebook. For those who live their lives through Facebook, then Facebook Messages will mean they have everything in one place.

Does this mean anything for the world of PR? Probably not. I can’t see that many journalists will start using the service, and those that do, I can’t imagine they would willingly publish their address. However, the new service is a sign of the way that communications are moving, with all the different streams in one place. Before long, this may call for a different approach to contacting the media, but that won’t be for a while yet.

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