MySpace to Launch New E-Mail Service Today
MySpace will launch its own e-mailing service today, according to PaidContent. Already some users of the social networking giant have been granted access to a personal "@myspace.com" email address, and today's launch is expected to be very low-key, since the service is still being tested.
It is not yet known when and how the service will be available for all users, but it is expected to be fully functional by this year's end. Further details regarding inbox size, imap/pop3 capabilities, user interface or anti-spam policies have not yet been disclosed to the public, officials at MySpace refusing any comments on this subject.
With more than 70 of its 130 million users in the United States, it's not clear whether the service will be available to US members only, or as a standard account package for everyone. Though nothing is sure, it's a general consensus in the web community that MySpace has great chances of becoming one of the top ten e-mail providers on the Internet, given its very large user base.
After being overtaken for the first time by Facebook in social networking rankings, this last move from MySpace stands out as a counter-punch in the constant fight for users. It could be interpreted as a direct response to the introduction of vanity URLs in Facebook's services, but few people actually know that this has been well planned during the last couple of months in MySpace's offices.
This project is so old and had such a momentum swing that even the change in management leadership couldn't affect its roll-out this week. The developing team that worked on MySpace Mail (unofficial project name) is comprised of renowned experts like Rajit Marwah (former contributor to Microsoft's Messenger and Hotmail projects) and Jason Hirschhorn (former Sling Media Exec), who were described as "a bunch of ex-Hotmail guys" according to PaidContent.
MySpace is hoping that this new expansion will stop the decline in visitor numbers, something that was quite visible in the last few months. Execs are anticipating that users will rush on the website to reserve their preferred usernames, as did Facebook users in May after the launch of the vanity URLs, doubling the site's traffic.
No official statement has yet been released from NewsCorp, the official operator of MySpace, nor from MySpace itself.