Feb 22, 2009
I know how old this makes me sound but kids, I just gotta say this: I hate Facebook Mail. Facebook is great for lots of stuff but the fact is it’s a web-based messaging system, a crappy & broken one at that, that duplicates an existing system without actually making it better. And it actually creates a redundancy – at least one.
The fact that it forwards new Inbox items to my contact email account drives me insane. So why don’t I just turn it off? Or why not only use FB Mail? Well, I have about a thousand other email accounts for other purposes and identities. I don’t just do one thing. So it’s great to be able to do it all in one place, using either Outlook (*shudder*), Thunderbird, Apple Mail, or even Gmail using POP fetching.
I guess this is where Facebook departs from its original intent as a gathering spot for university & college students who actually really only need(ed) the site for one purpose and one purpose only – gathering friends for a party and then posting the aftermath pics. Also, for stalking high school crushes.
However, now that old people have been using Facebook for several years now it’s maybe time for them to revisit how its users use its mailing system. What would be wicked is if the Facebook API allowed a developer to create an IMAP or POP bridge. I’m not alone in wanting this. A quick Google and I found this and this. At least with a bridging application Facebook could still keep the content flowing through their system (and yes, using whatever data they can glean from it for their evil marketing plots) while making it actually usable.
What would be wickeder is if they just set up their own IMAP/POP servers and allowed you to have direct access to them. In fact, it would take a huge load off their web servers by reducing the number of page-fetch calls and instead running far more efficient and less processor-intensive mail servers. After all, most mail is text-based anyway and fairly slim. And, of course, they could still have the web interface there fetching mail off the mail servers to not break functionality.