Remember Facebook’s pretty pathetic attempt to seize your email? It turns out that Facebook had far, far grander plans.
Some users of smartphones have discovered that Facebook really wants their address book:
As the echo chamber reached a fever pitch about hidden email addresses, Android, Blackberry, and iOS 6 beta users realized that their phones were syncing only @facebook.com email addresses. As a result, users who had relied on Facebook for email addresses found themselves unable to contact friends.
Facebook insists that this was just a software bug. Why, look at this! It’s a pile of bovine feces! And it appears to be a pile of feces from a male bovine. And it’s steaming!
Maybe it really was a bug, but more likely it was an aborted attempt on the part of Facebook to essentially hijack your email. Facebook is not above such little stunts — the recent email fiasco was fairly blatantly about getting more page views out of its massive user base.
It’s really, really unlikely that they were going to limit that to the website, not when they’re so tightly integrated with smartphones. No, dollars to donuts they were going make your friends’ real emails “invisible” and replace them with Facebook.com email addresses, but had to stop once the outrage hit epic heights.
This is backed up by what happened in iOS. As we all know, iOS 6 has Facebook up inside it like a…there’s no good metaphor here. Anyway, they noticed that their contact lists had either duplicate contacts or an extra Facebook field added to their contacts that can’t be deleted.
It’s getting to the point where we’re wondering if Facebook isn’t facing a Waterloo of sorts. It simply cannot keep pulling stunts like this and maintain market leader status.
(Image courtesy Poster Boy NYC on Flickr)