(CBS News) Facebook recently assigned @facebook.com email addresses to all users - even without opting in to the feature. And the company reportedly changed the settings across all profiles to reflect the new email address.
Facebook email addresses are by default the same as your public username. The company announced a messaging client that unified Facebook messages with email in 2010, which was promoted as a "seamless messaging" experience.
Emails sent to @facebook.com accounts are directed to the Facebook message center, the same way that an in-network message would be received.
Facebook email is meant to switch seamlessly from email, instant messaging and mobile messages. If a user is online, they can receive instant messages. Once they sign offline, people can use the same IM window, but the message will be sent to the user's inbox instead. The feature is similar to the Gmail and Gtalk integration.
Blogger Gervase Markham was reportedly the first to write about the change and his objection to the automatic switch on his profile.
It wasn't so much that Facebook auto-assigned an email address to his account, rather the social network swapped his display email with his Facebook email address.
Facebook released this statement in response to the reports alleging that the social network was forcing email addresses onto people.
As we announced back in April, we've been updating addresses on Facebook to make them consistent across our site.
In addition to everyone receiving an address, we're also rolling out a new setting that gives people the choice to decide which addresses they want to show on their timelines.
Ever since the launch of timeline, people have had the ability to control what posts they want to show or hide on their own timelines, and today we're extending that to other information they post, starting with the Facebook address.
Users who want to change their display email address setting can do so by clicking on "About" on their profile page. Under contact info, edit contact information as desired.