Facebook email: Why it could happen and what it would look like

Facebook email is rumored to be the big new functionality unveiled at an invite-only press event on Monday.

Facebook email? Well, it would certainly be a welcome step-up from the current Facebook messaging system.

Facebook has scheduled an invite-only press event for Monday. And as is nearly always the case these days – it is also the case with Apple – news of a Facebook press event has been enough to send the rumor mill into high gear. So what will Facebook unveil on Monday? Well, most of the speculation on the Web today revolves around some sort of email client, which would presumably put Facebook head-to-head with Google's Gmail service.

If only for that reason alone, the rumor makes sense: Google and Facebook are two of the most consistently popular sites on the Web. (And in some metrics, Facebook occasionally bests Google.) By trotting out a Gmail competitor, Facebook edges further into Google territory. It also makes the Facebook site more of a one-size-fits-all-platform – a place to post pictures and share "likes" and dislikes and also to more easily communicate.

And let's face it – the current message system on Facebook is a little bit of a bummer.

"Facebook may be built for and targeted at individual users, but it is also a valuable platform for business marketing and communications, except for one thing: e-mail," Tony Bradley of PC World writes today. "Adding e-mail to the mix would provide the final piece of the puzzle and make Facebook not just the biggest social network, but a comprehensive, and formidable business tool."

Couldn't have said it better ourselves. TechCrunch, one of the sites behind the Facebook email rumors, reported today that the Facebook email program – codenamed "Project Titan" – has been billed the "Gmail killer" at Facebook HQ.

"Our understanding is that this is more than just a UI refresh for Facebook’s existing messaging service with POP access tacked on," writes TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid. "Rather, Facebook is building a full-fledged webmail client, and while it may only be in early stages come its launch Monday, there’s a huge amount of potential here."

Over to you. Assuming this thing is legit, would you ditch Gmail – or Yahoo or Hotmail, for that matter – for an @facebook.com email address?

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