Facebook Roundup: Email Rumors, FB Security Risks, Music App, Haiti, European Privacy and Ads

Facebook Email-Style Messaging Upgrade Coming Soon? — The company has long suggested that its messaging service could use an upgrade — the feature is an important part of the site, and has replaced email for some users. Now, Facebook is working something called “Project Titan,” and employees are even calling it “the Gmail killer,” TechCrunch hears. Potential features include “full POP/IMAP support” so people could download or otherwise read and respond to Facebook messages from other email clients, and the ability to have your Facebook vanity URL as your email name (yourname@facebook.com). Note: Gmail creator, FriendFeed cofounder and now Facebook employee Paul Buchheit says: “No, I am not working on anything related to email 🙂 (nor do I plan to).”

Pew Study: Facebook Most Popular Among American Adults – A study entitled “Social Media and Young Adults” from the Pew Internet & American Life Project was released this week. One finding concluded that blogging has declined for young people but increased slightly for adults 30 and above; the report also noted that wireless connectivity use is rising for young people. A large percentage of American teens, 73%, use social networking sites, 47% of adults do and 72% of 18-29 year-olds use them. Among adults 52% said they have two or more different profiles, with Facebook being the most commonly used online social network, 73% of adults reported maintaining a profile there.

39% of Facebook Users Donated to Haiti – Facebook’s Facebook Global Disaster Relief page, which launched shortly after the recent Haiti earthquake, recently surpassed 250,000 fans. Videos with former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as links to a whole host of charities, are included on the page. A joint survey between Facebook and The Nielsen Company found of Facebook users in the U.S., U.K. and Australia: 32% donated money, 4% donated goods, 3% donated both, 21% haven’t yet given but plan to and 13% donated via text messages — 23% in the U.S.

European Commission to Revamp Privacy Laws in Response to Facebook – The European Commission announced this week that Facebook and other social networking sites may face regulation if they fail to adequately protect users’ privacy. Plans for comprehensive new laws governing data protection and privacy are in the works, given that rules currently date back to 1995. The commission is concerned specifically about Facebook, as well as other social networks, but also other technology, such as radio frequency identification, behavioral advertising and airport security. The changes are set to revise the commissions 1995 Data Protection Directive.

Print Facebook Ads Receipts – Wednesday Facebook announced that a printer-friendly version of billing receipts for Facebook ads. Those who have accounts for Facebook ads may now see a printer-friendly version of their billing manager receipt, which includes a Facebook logo and address and other billing info. The feature is available in the Billing section of the Ads manager for each transaction, the Printer-Friendly Version button is in the top-right corner of the page. Facebook said the changes are intended to streamline accounting and tax processes for customers.

Study Says Facebook is the “Most Dangerous” Social Network – A survey of 500 companies across the globe found that more than 70% reported spam and other infections arrived via social networks in 2009 and 2008, last year 72% of these companies were concerned about security breaches due to employees’ use of these networks. Facebook especially, as 60% named Facebook the riskiest network of the bunch, partly due to the fact that it’s the largest social network and also because new privacy settings expose more member-generated content to the entire Internet. Of course, saying Facebook is the riskiest doesn’t mean that it is actually risky for the typical user.

Facebook Set to be Globe’s News Reader – Facebook is set to become the world’s top news reader, according to a post from Experian Hitwise this week. Although Google Reader has most recently been the leading news reader, last week it only accounted for .01% of upstream visits to news and media websites, whereas this number was 3.52% for Facebook there’s a graph at the link. Facebook, according to Hitwise, was the fourth most popular source of visits to news and media sites last week.

Mystery Facebook Music App Appears, Disappears – This week some Facebook users found a mysterious Music application on their list linking to Facebook.com/music, but it didn’t work, linking instead to the news feed. Facebook then said they removed the application, said it might have been a bug and that Facebook has no plans to launch a music service.

Facebook Moves to Dismiss Click Fraud Lawsuits – Facebook has moved to dismiss litigation brought by several marketers as the result of click fraud this summer, arguing that Facebook’s contract with RootZoo and other online marketers provides that they must pay for all clicks — despite fraud. MediaPost reported this week that Facebook alleges in its motion that cost-per-click advertisers had to check a box agreeing to terms and conditions, including: “I understand that third parties may generate impressions, clicks, or other actions affecting the cost of the advertising for fraudulent or improper purposes, and I accept the risk of any such impressions, clicks, or other actions.” The case is currently pending in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.