The tech industry is all aflame over the upcoming Facebook announcement at a private, invite-only event on Monday. The general consensus is that Facebook will be launching an email service to compete against Gmail and Hotmail.
Facebook has been battling with Google now for a few years for dominance of the Internet. Google has been the big player but Facebook has been gaining a lot of ground. With the Google Buzz and Google Wave failures, Facebook now feels they have the opportunity to hurt Google by their actions instead of Google's actions.
To learn how this could affect the Internet, hit the break.
Facebook has always been a very closed ecosystem. The ability to send messages has always been available only to users. Sharing of photos, wall posts, etc has always been internal. This product, code-named "Project Titan" and referred to internally as "the Gmail killer", would mark a major dynamic shift for the company.
It would, however, be required for Facebook to grow outside of its current market. Google has always been an open environment, so to compete, Facebook is going to have to open up and allow users to send and receive to people outside of the community. This could be big for them.
Personally, I would not use a Facebook email system, though, in the same way I wouldn't use Gmail for real email. Neither of these companies can be trusted with security of personal information. Google has had break-ins that resulted in data theft. They have also published information through major mistakes, such as Google Buzz. Facebook has never been known for privacy and has had launches that have rivaled the stupidity of Google.