Facebook Developers Gain Access To User Emails Starting Today

As we wrote over the weekend, Facebook developers will be able to start asking users for their email address starting this evening. While we’ve already outlined the full details for developers, Facebook has a blog post with the latest information about the new functionality going live tonight. There isn’t much new information that Facebook published, however they did emphasize how important email is to many developers.

LivingSocial, for example, has driven 10 percent of their traffic via email notifications. Click through rates on LivingSocial’s emails have gone as high as 12 percent which is extremely high as anyone who has done email marketing knows. We consider it somewhat strange that Facebook is trying to move a lot of notifications to email, as the company has invested a decent amount of time in iterating on their notification system (most recently designing a counter system).

While most developers are concerned about the deprecation of notifications, there will be 30 days until the existing Facebook notification system is deprecated. Between now and then, Facebook will be testing the new counter system and new homepage design. The new counter system is already in beta mode and can be tested by developers. While the shift to the new system may negatively impact some applications, Facebook’s timeframe should enable most application developers to make a smooth transition.

If you want to learn more about how user email addresses will be integrated with applications, read this article. Facebook has a number of user protections in place under the new system, however email addresses are email addresses and once developers have them, there’s always a risk for spam. Do you welcome the new system or do you think this is going to result in a wave of spam problems?