Facebook Phasing Out Notifications, Launching Email Address Requests by Apps

The Facebook Platform team is having a busy week, following up its announcement that it would increase the maximum size of photos on the social-networking site while decreasing the size of profile pictures with the announcement that it is greasing the skids for the departure of its Notification channel and the implementation of apps communicating with users by requesting their email addresses.

Arjun Banker, an engineer on the Facebook Platform team, posted on the Facebook Developers Blog:

While we’re making the process of requesting email addresses more streamlined today, some developers have been communicating with users through this channel for some time. For example, LivingSocial has been sending emails to users of Visual Bookshelf for the past two years, consistently driving 10% of traffic to the application. They have found that emails are most successful when they provide users with dynamically generated content (such as a listing or books a user has marked as “currently reading,” or a feed of all friend activity). More engaging messages generated above-average click-through rates of 5-12%.

Once the feature goes live tonight, you will be able to ask users to share their primary Facebook email address with you so that you can communicate with them directly. We recommend you use email to send them interesting and relevant information, like receipts for purchases they make, messages to help reactivate them if they haven’t visited your application or integration in a while, or newsletters promoting new features or contests.

You’ll ask users to share their primary email address with you by prompting them through the existing email extended permission (users will still have the ability to choose to share a proxied email address instead). You will also have the ability to require users to share their email addresses in order to use your application or Facebook Connect integration. Once the user has shared his or her email address with you, you can store it indefinitely, within CAN-SPAM Act regulations. If a user has already chosen to share a proxied email address with you via the extended permission, you can continue to email the user at that address.