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Facebook Changes Users’ Account Emails Without Telling Them

LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Facebook silently dropped some new features on Monday without asking users first or bringing it to their attention.

Earlier in the day, ABC’s News 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.

Later Monday, 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 the social network didn’t bother to give a heads up or offer the option for users to opt out.

But there's a quick and easy way to change your default email back to whatever you want it to be. Here's how:

1. Go to your profile page.

2. On your Timeline, you should see a button that says Update Info. Click that.

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, and what have you.

And as Forbes first noted, if you didn’t opt for a 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.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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