Facebook recently started rolling out @facebook.com email address to users who had not previously signed up for the service. Facebook email address have been available for more than a year but, until recently, it was not obligatory to have one. Now it is.
Pushing change on users now seems to be standard modus operandi for Facebook: announce a feature, allow users to opt in for a while, and then force the feature on all remaining users many months later. It’s precisely what happened with Facebook Timeline.
The problem, as most of us know, is if you haven’t opted into the new feature, service, or change, it blindsides you when it arrives. You haven’t had time to read up on what it means or how it will change your Facebook account. You don’t know what’s private and what’s exposed.
If you unexpectedly have a new Facebook email address, here’s what you need to know about what it is and how to change it.
What is Facebook Email?
Facebook email is essentially Facebook Messages. You can find it via the speech bubble icon at the upper left corner of your Facebook screen, between friend requests and notifications. (See slide 1 in the slideshow.)
When the email address first appears, it may show up as a string of numbers and “@facebook.com” at the end, until you customize it. For me, it appeared first as a string of numbers, and then later the same day it inexplicably changed to match my Facebook vanity URL. (See slide 2 in the slideshow.)
Email sent to your @facebook.com address shows up in your Messages. It won’t forward to any other place (unless you have set up rules that would do so). Additionally, someone who is not on Facebook can send you an email that on your end looks like a Facebook message. There are some privacy settings you can adjust to block people from messaging you, which I’ll explain in detail in a moment.
Is Facebook Email Public?
Here’s how to check if your Facebook email address is public.
Can I Delete My Facebook Email Address?
You cannot delete a Facebook email address. If you try to delete it, you’ll see an error message (see slide 3). All you can do is hide it or make it visible to “only me,” (see slide 4) but you cannot get rid of it.
How to Block Anyone from Emailing You via Facebook
Even if you hide your Facebook email address, outside users can still email you through your Facebook account unless you change a few privacy settings (see slide 5).
You have two other options for controlling who can message you: Friends; and Friends of Friends. If you set all three to “Friends,” then only your Facebook friends can email you, although they can send a message to your Facebook message center from any email that they have associated with their Facebook account. If their email addresses are not associated with their Facebook accounts, their messages won’t be delivered.
If you want to keep your Facebook page as private as possible, I recommend taking three steps:
Additionally, if you like to keep your professional life totally separate from Facebook, make sure you don’t list any of your work email addresses in your contact information, too.
There may be benefits to making your Facebook email address public and letting your professional and personal lives mingle, so of course not everyone will want to zip up their Facebook accounts. It depends how you use Facebook and whether you want unknown people to contact you (perhaps for business opportunities), or whether you use Facebook for only personal information and want to keep your profile and contact details as private as possible.