Why so secretive, Facebook?
Like an Internet ninja sneaking around in the social interaction darkness, Facebook silently dropped some new features today without asking users first or bringing it to their attention.
Earlier today, ABC's News' Joanna Stern reported that Facebook quietly rolled out a new feature called Find Friends Nearby, or Friendshake, as Facebook is calling it in some places, which was designed to display the names of people who are in your area with mobile phones. But you had to opt into using the service by visiting http//fb.com/ffn on your phone.
Then, as quickly as it appeared, Facebook pulled the feature. Read their reasoning HERE.
But here's something really aggravating: Today, Facebook launched a new setting that changed all users' default email addresses to [name]@facebook.com, so that messages will be forwarded to Facebook profile in-boxes. And they didn't bother to give a heads up or offer the option for users to opt out.
But there is a quick and easy way to change your default email back to whatever you want it to be.
1. Go to your profile page.
2. On your Timeline, you should see a button that says Update Info. Click that. (You can also click on the About page).
3. On the Contact Info box, click Edit.
4. The first item will be Emails, and you should see a new @facebook.com email address. Move your mouse cursor over the symbol that looks like a No Smoking sign.
5. Click the down arrow and select "Hidden from Timeline." Here is where you can choose which email address you want to have on your profile. All users need a personal email address to sign up for a Facebook account, so your original email address should still be listed here. Just change the setting next to the email address you want to use for Facebook alerts and messages to "Show on Timeline," or the open circle symbol.
6. Click Save.
Another change you may not have noticed right away is that in assigning everyone a Facebook email address, many profile URLs have also changed.
If you have the same name as another user, you will now have a number after your name, creating dead links for anyone who has ever linked to their Facebook profiles from blogs, email signatures, online resumes, what have you.
And as Forbes first noted, if you didn't opt for a vanity profile URL, which was rolled out in 2009 and allowed users to change the direct link to their profiles from a bunch of numbers to their names, your new Facebook email address and profile URL are, well, a bunch of numbers.
In a statement to ABCNews.com, a Facebook spokesperson said the company had been updating addresses for its users since April.
"In addition to everyone receiving an address, we're also rolling out a new setting that gives people the choice to decide which addresses they want to show on their timelines," Facebook said.
"Ever since the launch of timeline, people have had the ability to control what posts they want to show or hide on their own timelines, and today we're extending that to other information they post, starting with the Facebook address."