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How Facebook Email Could Be Better

This Friday, we’ll be discussing Facebook’s upcoming email service with a few executives from social media companies that are closely aligned with Facebook. Mark your calendars for the Marketing Technology radio show at 3PM EST. We’re looking forward to hearing the inside scoop! In the meantime, you can watch this official Facebook video on the email system.

Here’s my initial reaction… there was a real opportunity for Facebook to eradicate SPAM altogether with their email system but they chose instead to utilize the email recipient to permit or block each sender. Ugh. How is that any different than how we currently control SPAM? I don’t see much of a difference.

Here’s how Facebook could have eliminated SPAM altogether – an idea I’ve had for years:

Facebook should develop an Opt-In API that email marketers can incorporate in their sign-up forms. So… as a company I would generate an email form. If the email address ends in @facebook.com, I make a call to Facebook’s API and THEY produce the opt-in mechanism on my site. The Facebook user allows permission, perhaps by logging in via Facebook Connect, and voilà! Now Facebook absolutely knows that the person opted into the email. No fuss, no muss – they would not need to do any mail filtering whatsoever for commercial email.

Even better would be an Open Subscription format that all large ISPs could develop and manage. As a marketer, I’d be more than happy to develop tools that would guarantee that my emails are made to the inbox! Facebook and Google are the only two companies with enough widespread use to ensure adoption of a technology like this. The result would be fantastic, though… a step closer to SPAM-free inboxes.

It doesn’t make sense for Email Service Providers to manage an opt-in mechanism that’s totally inaccessible by the Internet Service Provider. This would put the ISP in charge of the opt-in! That’s where it should be.

If you’d like an invitation to Facebook Email, request an invitation from Facebook.

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