Facebook To Provide Digest E-Mails, Thus Mitigating Cluttered Inboxes

Posted Sep 29, 2007

I recently tagged some of my closest friends to a random photo of people I don’t know in India eating ice cream for the sake of adding humor to their day.  Little did I know that my friends would write a lot of comments on that random photo, thus sending a lot of e-mails to everyone that I tagged.  Facebook is a total nuisance for that feature.

So what is Facebook doing about it? 

Right now users get e-mail notifications if someone you know or don’t know wrote a comment on a picture that you are tagged on.  And if you wrote a comment on a photo and then someone else you may or may not know commented on the same picture, you get an e-mail notification.  Other types of e-mails that become a nuisance include mass group messages (sometimes spam) and applications requests.

This is why Facebook’s upcoming digest e-mail will be a big relief for those who get a lot of junk mail from Facebook.  After the daily digest e-mail feature is released, users will most likely have the option to opt for a daily digest of activity on Facebook.  This is good for the users, but bad for Facebook.

Why is it bad for Facebook?  Facebook collects tons of page views from the mere fact that we get instant notifications of our friends’ activities.  And every technology-savvy reader knows that more page views equals growth.  Now if we don’t get instant notifications of when people wrote on our walls, tagged us in photos, or sent us a message, but instead had the option to postpone the notifications, we become less interested in our friends’ activities on Facebook.  If that becomes the case, then Facebook gets less attention in the long-run.

But as Enemy of the State’s Brill (played by Gene Hackman) says, Facebook, “Either you are very smart or… incredibly stupid.”