5 Predictions For The Facebook Email Service

We're only a few hours away from what could well be the biggest announcement from Facebook since it launched six years ago; the launch of a web-based email service capable of taking on Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo.

From the numerous rumours gathered since Project Titan came to life back in February 2010, here are the five main things we expect from the service.

The domain name is will be located at FB.com; that's almost a certainty. Users will be able to access it from their main Facebook account but the fact Facebook has just purchased the FB.com domain name (currently redirecting to Facebook.com) makes it a certainty.

We expect Facebook to announce that you will need to have a Facebook account in order to send and receive emails. Facebook may say that this is necessary to reduce security threat and the amount of spam but we all know that the reason behind that is to increase the amount of information stored on each user and build the perfect social graph.

Facebook will present itself as an aggregator rather than a stand alone email provider and like AOL Mail and Hotmail.com, will offer integration with the main service providers, from one user interface, a bit like the skins on Android handsets.

It is certain that Facebook Email will be available on mobile smartphones from day one; but we will go as far as saying that the service will be rolled out fairly quickly on dumb phones as well like the Nokia C3.

Our last prediction is that Facebook will add Vanity URL and Facebook Me in the mix. Vanity URLs (e.g. facebook.com/username) are extremely popular with the overwhelming majority of indexed Facebook pages being one of them. As for Facebook.me, well, it might turn up to be Facebook's own version of Gmail's Priority Box or Hotmail's SWEEP feature which allows emails to be prioritised on the fly. In Facebook's case, this might be linked to the strength of the relationships between the sender and the recipient.