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Facebook criticised for email switch on user profiles

Most of us come crawling back whatever it does, but Facebook nevertheless has a habit of irritating its gargantuan 900 million user base.

The latest move to irk the public has been its sly changing of people's listed emails in their profile's contact section – with all addresses being replaced by ''. Facebook's email system has not been widely adopted since its launch back in 2010, and users feel aggrieved the company has responded by forcing its addresses onto their contact details, with their preferred addresses disappearing.

"They've got an email service that no-one is using," Forrester analyst Nate Elliott told the Associated Press. Getting people to send emails to and from Facebook deepens people's connection to the site, he added. "This is a way of encouraging use — it's just a rather crude way."

Users annoyed by the change can revert to the original email address by clicking on the 'About' section of their profile. From here, clicking on the edit icon on the right-hand side of the 'Contact Info' section enables the change to be made.

Facebook announced in April that it was "updating addresses on Facebook to make them more consistent" across the site, but the message went largely unnoticed. With the change now in action, many Facebookers feel they have been manipulated by the company's latest attempt to keep as much Internet activity within its walls as possible, in order to make more revenue from advertising.

The social network has already drawn the ire of users this week, after its Find Friends Nearby feature was dubbed a 'stalker app' following its brief, and unpopular testing period.