Take Back Your Email Address

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June 27, 2012 by Kelly Quinones Miller

Way back in 2010, Facebook assigned every user an email address so that people could use their message inboxes like an email client. Here’s what you already know: No one did.

Though everyone else forgot about the special Facebook.com email address, apparently Facebook didn’t. Fast forward to now. If you’re using Timeline, then Facebook has taken the liberty to switch your default email address from whatever you had established. Now, your default email is your Facebook.com address.

Sneaky and wrong, right? Yes. On many, many levels. But you can switch your default address back to what you want. Here’s how:

Correct Your Email Address In 5 Easy Steps

1. On your Timeline page, click on “About” under your profile picture.

2. Scroll down to the “Contact Info” box and click “Edit.” You’ll likely see the @facebook.com email address. (If you don’t see the @facebook.com email, stop here and bookmark this post. Come back when your email changes — which will happen.)

3. Look over at the triangles on the right side of the Edit dialogue box. The email with the open circle is the one that’s being displayed on your “About” page. The one with the circle and line is being hidden (see second image below).

Note that my lock icons are likely different from yours. I have set most of my profile to private. Focus on the circles for this tutorial.

4. Select the open circle for the email you want shown on your Timeline. Hide the @facebook.com email address if you aren’t interested in using it. Now the icons to the right should be reversed.

Important: Make sure you scroll down and click “Save.” If you miss this step, your changes will not take effect.

5. Check your “About” page. You should now only see the email address that you selected to be shown on your Timeline.

Why Make The Change

If you’re like most people, you use your Facebook inbox to connect with other people on Facebook. However, Facebook’s messaging system just can’t compete with more powerful and streamlined clients. In specific:

1. All your messages with a person are filed as one conversation. That means that even if you change the subject line or change otherwise topics, Facebook will always and only store those messages together. This results in you potentially having to wade through hundreds of messages to find a piece of information, especially if you message with the same people often.

2. You can’t sort messages into folders. Having one vast message inbox may sound nice, but it’s definitely not efficient. You can archive and search, but you can’t group specific conversations into folders or otherwise add order to the chaos.

3. Many workplaces block Facebook, so you won’t be able to check your email during the day. Also, logging into Facebook to check your email may seem innocuous, but it could also give the perception that you are playing around on Facebook when you should be working.

4. There are no bells and whistles. Sure, you may not use the tools your current email client offers, but it’s nice to have them in case you need them. Facebook Message offers no blind copy, no filtering, no priority options, no special formating, etc. You can send messages and attachments, and that’s it.

5. Some messages get lost in the “Other” folder. For months many people didn’t even know they had a special, secondary message inbox. This inbox contains messages from unknown senders (meaning, people who aren’t your “friend” but who sent a message via your @facebook.com address) and bulk messages (such as from an event or page). If you use the email address Facebook gives you, many of your messages will get hung up in this folder — and you won’t be notified when it happens.

Do you use your Facebook email address? Let us know your thoughts about it in the comments!

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