Social networking behemoth has made its long-awaited move into email, challenging the grip of the likes of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo head-on, The Sunday Tribune reports.

The company will begin offering facebook.com email addresses to its 500m users and will launch a ‘social inbox’ which will pull together emails, instant message conversations and text messages from users’s friends and contacts – both from Facebook itself and from elsewhere on the Internet.

Company revenues will be maximised from encouraging users to spend as much time as possible on Facebook and to share information, allowing the company to sell personally targeted advertising. In particular, the service is being geared towards young people who prefer texting and sms to the more formal structure of emails.

Facebook engineers working on the service have nicknamed it “The Gmail Killer.”


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