Facebook announced today that they are releasing their much anticipated email platform. Coined the “Gmail killer”, Facebook’s Messages is more of an extension of their existing messaging features. Users will get their own @facebook email address based on their username and be able to send messages to Facebook users from outside of Facebook. In addition, Facebook Messages has the capability to store conversations from SMS to Twitter & LinkedIn direct messages. Finally, Facebook Messages will integrate with Microsoft docs to allow users to view Word & PDF’s within Facebook itself.
What this means for Facebook & its advertisers:
Facebook’s expanded messaging service expands the number of contact points advertisers have with Facebook users. Just as Gmail gave Google more realty space to sell its ads, Facebook Messages should give Facebook even more of an opportunity to get its ads in front of its users. Facebook already accounts for 1/4 of all display ad impressions. Facebook Messages should only increase that.
Furthermore, Facebook Messages better establishes Facebook as a hub for users. Just as Yahoo’s initial email program helped establish Yahoo as most users’ homepage, Facebook Messaging should help steal some of Yahoo and Hotmail’s shrinking share of traffic.
If there are still doubters left, and I am beginning to think there are less and less, Facebook is indeed the biggest and potentially only threat to Google’s dominance of share of online advertising dollars.