Somewhere around Y2K, when I was migrating from my Netcom e-mail address to Lycos mail, or whatever the hell it was at the time, I realized that this pattern of migrating from one system to another for e-mail was going to continue for years. And I was right. I switched from one system to another, then hosted my own e-mail server for a couple years, and have more recently landed on GMail. I made my life a little easier by buying a domain name and using the same address to forward to whatever my current flavor of the day is, but I really thought GMail was going to be the end of switching. That is, until I heard that Facebook is launching a competitor.
I already know Facebook mail will not fail, but will be a huge success. I know this to be true because already 90% of the time when I get a message from someone I talk to less than once a month, the message comes through Facebook. Naturally I have Facebook set to send me an e-mail to notify me, because I'm not one of those creepy stalkers that sit on Facebook all day, and I have push e-mail on my phone. But Facebook messages are already a pain in the ass, because if I want to respond, I need to log into Facebook and do it through there, instead of pushing the "Reply" button in GMail.
So how do we solve this fragmentation? Just move all e-mail to Facebook, of course! Great, just what I need, another e-mail address switch, another account to check on a regular basis. But, worst of all, I have years of e-mail archived in my GMail account. Can I roll that into Facebook mail? And, with Facebook's privacy issues, do I want to give all that crap to Facebook?
I feel like I'm going to be forced to use Facebook mail, because I don't have an option to just route all my Facebook messages through another e-mail account, and my friends will certainly continue to use it.
I used to think Skynet would be born from Google. I'm starting to think Facebook is looking more likely.