Facebook e-mail is going away — in case you notice

Facebook announces Home

(CNN) — Check your Facebook mail lately? Didn’t think so. Apparently not many others did, either. So after three-plus years the world’s largest social media outlet is pulling the plug on its little-used e-mail service, the company confirmed Tuesday.

“We’re making this change because most people haven’t been using their Facebook e-mail address, and we can focus on improving our mobile messaging experience for everyone,” Facebook said in a statement.

For those who do have a Facebook mail account, messages will be forwarded to the primary e-mail address listed in a user’s account, the company said. The changes are planned to roll out in March, and users can turn off that forwarding option if they prefer not to have their personal inboxes flooded with these messages.

With last week’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, the fast-growing messaging service, Facebook is focusing more on mobile messaging than e-mail these days.

Facebook ventured into the e-mail field in November 2010, adding the service to the messaging system already used heavily by its 1.2 billion users. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the time that the system would complement, not compete, with entrenched e-mail giants such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

“We don’t expect anyone to wake up tomorrow and say, ‘I’m going to shut down my Yahoo account or my Gmail account and switch exclusively to Facebook.’ But we do expect a shift to more real-time communication,” he said.

By Matt Smith

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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