Facebook to Start an E-Mail Service

By MIGUEL HELFT for nytimes.com BIT Technology

Facebook has more than 500 million users around the world. And Americans spend more of their time online with Facebook than with any other Internet company, including Google and Yahoo.

Now the company wants people to weave their online lives even more tightly into Facebook.

On Monday, Facebook is expected to unveil a revamped set of communications services that will include an e-mail system in which users will have addresses with the facebook.com suffix, according to two people briefed on Facebook’s plans who asked to speak on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss them publicly.

Facebook has invited reporters to a press conference on Monday, but has refused to say what it plans to announce. The company declined to comment on any unannounced communications services.

Facebook already offers an online chat service and an internal message system between Facebook users. The new services, whose exact details could not be learned, would greatly expand Facebook’s communications offerings.

But one person with knowledge of Facebook’s plans said that the new communications services would not be meant to be used on their own, like other e-mail systems. Instead, they would be tightly coupled with Facebook’s other services.

“They are not trying to do a standalone rival to Gmail,” the person said. “They are building an integrated experience in everything they do.”


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