I like Facebook and understand it value as a social media tool, but I have a real problem with the company changing my contact information without asking me. Facebook is in the process of making an across the board change to all 900 million users profile pages without telling or asking us about it. The social media giant is setting every user’s default email address to [name]@facebook.com. I took a look at my own account and sure enough, my default email address had already been changed and was shown under my contact information.
In case you don’t already know, the default email address is the contact information other users see on your page if they want to send you an email. Every Facebook user has automatically been assigned a free “facebook.com” email account for a while now, but many people don’t bother using it. As a business owner, I know I prefer to publicize my business email address instead–it’s more professional. So, seeing the FB address in place of what was originally there is a problem for me. I’m sure Facebook would love to take some of Google and Yahoo’s free email account business, but automatically defaulting its users contact emails is a bad idea. I’m not alone in this view… several other bloggers are also writing about the change, with many highly critical of the switch.
The good news is the setting can easily be changed to a user’s preferred email address by manually editing the “contact info” section of each user’s profile. I went ahead and switched my FB email address to hidden and my original email address back to public view:
On a positive note, I do like that when I changed my password Facebook sent me an email to make sure it was what I wanted. They also offered an across the board change to the applications I have tied to FB. It is reassuring to know they are taking serious strides to ensure a user’s Facebook account hasn’t been hacked into.