Email Me Instead – for Facebook

UPDATE: This app has been removed. If you’d like Facebook integration with Xobni, please check out  🙂

Info below is preserved for archival purposes only.

Xobni’s Facebook app replaces Facebook messaging with email.

I’ve found Facebook messaging increasingly annoying. My inbox is full of Facebook notifications, not the content I want. I can’t count the number of times I’ve received a message, gone to someone’s profile, found their email address, typed their email address into my compose window (you can’t copy+paste because Facebook displays an image), and finally composed an email to the person which starts with ,”switching to email…”

So, we made a Facebook app that makes emailing your Facebook friends easy:

Apparently, I wasn’t alone. Many others have wanted a way to easily email their Facebook friends and tell their friends to “email me instead.” So we put a few cycles into making it easy to do just that.

Try out the application by clicking here

Add the app, tell your friends, and make online life a little easier.

Here is how Email Me Instead works:

1. Setup

Enter your email address and pick a button style.


2. Profile Button

A button is added to your profile. Now your friends can click to email you. Don’t forget to drag the Email Me Instead application to the top of your profile so your friends see it!


3. Profile Link

A link is also added below your profile pictures. How easy! (Josh prefers email instead, so we used his profile picture)

4. Quick Reply Attachment

What if someone sends you a Facebook message anyway? We’ve added an Email Me Instead button which allows you to politely and quickly tell them that you would like to use email instead.


After you click the Email Me Instead attach button, the following message is added to your message and is easy to send.attach
5. Bonus

We’ve put a little note that says, “Sent from Facebook” in the bottom of emails sent using the Email Me Instead application. This way you know someone sent you the message from Facebook. Totally Sweet!

That’s it. The application is quick, simple, and easy to use. Make sure to tell your friends about Email Me Instead because the application becomes more useful as the community grows.

To tell your friends, email them this link:

Note: This not the product Xobni has been working on for the past 14 months. This was a weekend hackathon project. Our real product, Project North Beach, will change the way you look at your email. Sign up for the beta below.

10 Responses to “Email Me Instead – for Facebook”

  1. 1 Phil Crosby August 5, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Ugh I hate those “you have a message” emails. Worthless!

    Nice work guys. An instance of where facebook’s greed to get you on to their site hurts the user experience.

  2. 2 Jing Liang August 9, 2007 at 1:00 am

    Interesting idea. But honestly, I do not see the value proposition of Email Me instead to most users for the following reasons:

    1. Email Spam fatigue.
    If you have yahoo, hotmail or gmail (80% of users), your inbox will most likely be >90% spam. Facebook’s notifications serves kind of like a spam filter. If you see a facebook email in your inbox, you know it’s from a friend. Therefore, you are now “trained” to zero in on facebook email titles. Furthermore, it filters out non-spam but non-friends related emails like bills, order confirmations emails, etc.

    2. Facebook is better experience than yahoo hotmail or gmail for simple emails.

    The analogy would be: do you like to drink alone in your apt or at the bar with friends. Checking for messages at facebook also allows you to check up on what your friends are doing, i.e. status updates, pictures, new friends of friends, etc. Therefore, it is not just a boring email experience. However, if you are searching for old emails etc, you don’t use facebook.

    3. Picture profile with emails.

    Don’t underestimate the power of putting a human face or a graphic representation of an individual next to an email. It adds personality to text communication. I think facebook has stumbled on the best and easiest implementation of this feature.

    But don’t get discouraged by my comments. I do see potential in email me instead. Here are my recommendations:

    a. Subject of EMI should start with “Facebook email sent by…”
    This allows for the same “filtering” that facebook notification does.

    b. Allow people to post email replies via Email me Instead.

    I receive 95% of my emails on my blackberry. When I get a facebook email, I can’t really effectively log onto facebook to check it and to reply. But it does build anticipation (which I believe is a step towards addiction/reliance). If I can read my message on my blackberry, and to reply to the email via a link in my blackberry email, and if the reply gets posted on Facebook like a regular messaging, then this would be a GREAT value to me.

    On the business side, it allows you to create traffic to your website that stores facebook user logins and passwords to enable them to post replies to facebook. And the data mining aspect of it……..

    THat’s my 1.47 cent.


    P.S. BTW, it’s nice to see another State High grad in the business world. There are very few of them.

  3. 3 Mark Zuckerberg August 20, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Facebook is an English-language social networking website. It was originally developed for college and university students but has since been made available to anyone with an email address. People may then select to join one or more participating networks, such as a high school, place of employment, or geographic region.

    The founder Mark Zuckerberg in an exclusive interview says, “I did not want to be left out, sitting on the sidelines watching while so many others like Larry Page and Sergei Brin that chink Jerry Yang and that moron Mark Cuban made incredibly huge amounts of money on the Internet. People are flocking to it in droves. I knew that if I started a site and put in basic software that allows for a free flow of information that is personal and private then I would make a fortune from scratch with the speed of rabbits breeding and multiplying. I am just a little nerd. I get bored easily with hard work. I worked for a week to create Facebook. I put in basic code. I feel sorry for the dimwits in the old economy who have to work for more than 10 lllong years for a few grand at the end of each month.

    “My goal is to not have a job and enjoy luxuriating in five star hotels, eat gourmet meals, sleep for nine hours at night and three hours in the afternoon, watch four films a week without working to pay the bills. The day I launched Facebook was the day I hit the lottery. I will not to worry about holding down a job and upgrading my skills so that I can make a few more grand at the end of each month. That is so old school. At Harvard I read news story after news story of dot-com millionaires made overnight. I read once that some dimwits who started their own e-commerce Internet Website two years ago sold it to Barnes & Noble, for 664 million dollars. In the old economy you have to slog the whole month for a few lousy grand.

    “The great thing about the net is that though I was totally confused by the Internet, even though I had no time to learn computer stuff, even though I am too lazy to master a whole new set of computer-related skills none of that matters. In fact I realised at Harvard that I did not need special education…… virtually no money put at risk. All I had to was to spare time and the willingness to follow very easy-to-understand instructions. So simple even a 10 year old could do it.

    “All I did was steal the original code for Facebook from another social-networking site, now called ConnectU. I simply took ConnectU’s design, source code and business plan, and turned them into Facebook. That is why Facebook is a billion-dollar buyout target, while ConnectU remains pretty much anonymous. A code and business plan are worthless without that certain magic mojo, and dumb luck, which I had. Popular websites emerge, they are not designed. I don’t care that stealing is wrong. If I have a billion dollar website, its mine.

    “I was afraid that lawsuits would come. That is why I want Yahoo! to buy my site NOW. If I am found liable then you might as well kiss the American Dream goodbye, if it’s not already goodbye. What was great for me was that somebody else came up with a genius brilliant idea. Since I was helping them with programming the site I saw it as my birthright to steal their intellect, blatantly, ignore copyrights, ignore any prior work done and thus reap the rewards.

    “I carefully measured this risk when I started Facebook knowing full well that I had stolen intellectual property from ConnectU. I then decided to go ahead build a user base and monopolise value as quick as possible, become a billionaire and then when these lawsuits come I can brush them off as a nuisance, and offer a pittance settlement of 100 million bucks. For that to happen Yahoo! must buy Facebook for at least eight billion dollars NOW. 23-year-old could come up with 100% of the code, design, and business plan for a website as huge as Facebook. It was awfully convenient that I worked for a company that did a similar design to Facebook. Am I guilty of stealing someone elses’ idea? Morally, sure, but legally? I don’t think so.
    “The Internet is The Lazy Man’s Way to getting rich. I’m not kidding about that either. The first thing that is important is not to have ethics. That is why I breached security ay Harvard and violated copyrights and privacy. I had hacked into House websites to harvest images of students without their permission and made money with it. In 2004 I made Facebook, took a leave of absence from the college, and a year later dropped out.

    “There’s one BIG thing you need to be successful online and that’s getting the basics down. Face it. You just have to start a site and put in junk software that allows moronic teenagers to share photos, pictures. I spent a few hours each week writing basic code. I often refer to myself as a lazy Internet entrepreneur because I know that there are many things I could be doing to further improve Facebook but often prefer not to. My problem is that I can always find something better to be doing than working like sleeping for three hours in the afternoon. That is why there are so many stupid Facebook applications that impact an entire 0.00000001% of the world. I will now become a billionaire even though I can’t even be bothered to spend a few hours learning how to do some of the most basic tasks. I want at least three billion dollars personally from the deal. I was very upset that Yahoo only offered one billion. Peter Thiel told me that it is worth at least eight billion.

    “I must say that thoughts of a hedonistic lifestyle are going to my brain. Facebook is out of control as I am becoming a megalomaniac. The site that was once used to innocently keep in touch with friends has now become a monster that allows and encourages — random people to stalk innocent victims. As per my vision it simply wasn’t enough that friends and fellow students at your college could see profiles and message the person. The past year has brought new features that allow users to add pictures, tag pictures, set a “status” so the whole world and grandpa knows what my visitors are doing and write notes or import an existing blog. And they say celebrities don’t have any privacy. Ha!

    “Can you imagine in a couple years when Facebook has 200 million users worldwide, with half of them logging in every day, and a 25 year old will be CEO of this company? I can’t think of a parallel in world history where someone as young as me had this much influence. Oh wait. Alexander the Great. I want Facebook to be the social operating system of the web. That is something Google isn’t and is never going to be. At this point, nobody is closer to that vision than Facebook. Facebook will be the next Google trust me. In San Francisco my aim of having the developers conference was to unleash a tidal wave of masterful PR spin on what Facebook is–the future–and on what Facebook is not – MySpace. It is a hundred times better than that. So shove it Murdoch! We comfortably passed eBay in traffic and we’re working on passing Google, too in a few months time. Actually come to think of it Facebook IS already another Google, in fact, seeking to control, for-its own greedy profit motives, all the world’s personal information.

    “Face it. The user base makes it worth $8 billion. The ad revenue makes it worth whatever it’s worth. The demographics of the user base how much advertisers can be charged. Isn’t it annoying that idiots like me become billionaires?”

    “I was lazy I didn’t even graduate from college like Bill Gates. I stumbled upon a technology like a hyperactive kid that took advantage of people’s inherent insecurities. This is only the fastest growing of the three internet models. Once you understand that people are lazy, desperate for information and insecure, you too may be able to become insanely wealthy at a young age.

    “Another secret. The most promising area of Internet expansion is that which assuages people’s insecurities. People are lonely. The rapidly growing $2.5 billion Internet pornography industry knows this all too well. People want to feel in control of their lives, image and future. Most importantly, people want to feel connected, loved and popular. Only recently have companies such as Facebook been able to so successfully tap into people’s insecurities.

    “The average Facebook user checks the site six times a day. Why are college students so addicted to it? This because Facebook is more than a rolodex with photos. It provides an exact measure of our stature, popularity and coolness. It allows us to place ourselves in a pseudo-fictional world like Hollywood films like Inland Empire, Notes On A Scandal, Grindhouse, Shooter, Crash, Brokeback Mountain, A History Of Violence where everyone we know is pigeon-holed into friend or non-friend. We never have to worry about our looks because with enough Photoshopping we can present ourselves exactly how we want to be perceived. Moreover, everyone on the Facebook is at the center of a massive web of friends. Unsure? Click “Visualise my friends” and it will even draw you a map.

    “Appealing to human insecurities is an easier way to make money than writing search engines or actually selling real products in a Mcjob in the old economy. That is so old school. I know 40 year olds in the old economy with Mcjobs. They can make a few extra thousand bucks each month by cleaning their offices after work. Their salaries are so poor they have to claim benefits to make ends meet. Facebook is neither technologically innovative nor expensive to design. I just followed instructions that were so simple even a 10 year old with Autism could have done it.

    “For those budding hi-tech entrepreneurs who want to hit the jackpot without working which is what I have done my advice is this: remember that people are lazy, information starved and insecure like my embarrassing uncle Terry Semel. Best of luck!”

  4. 4 shane ann ballelos May 3, 2011 at 4:45 am

    Hey guys, why can’t I see the application? It always return with an error.

    • 5 Josh Jacobson May 5, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      Hi Shane,
      This was an early experimental Facebook app from a few years ago, sorry that we caused errors for you. I’ll work with the team to either fix it or make it clear that it’s no longer supported.
      Thank you!

    • 6 Josh Jacobson May 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Shane,
      We’ll be taking this app down; apologies again for the trouble.

  1. 1 Facebook App: Email Me Instead at boxfuse Trackback on August 3, 2007 at 5:27 am
  2. 2 Pigsaw Blog » Blog Archive » A revolutionary Facebook application: e-mail Trackback on August 8, 2007 at 3:43 am
  3. 3 Stumm in Seattle » Blog Archive Trackback on August 22, 2007 at 12:20 am
  4. 4 Chef de produit Web, information architect, AMOa de projets NTIC Trackback on November 20, 2007 at 4:42 am

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Xobni’s contact management products offer lightning fast email search and organization of your inbox, as well as an innovative and comprehensive address book for the mobile device.


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