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Say goodbye to Facebook e-mail

The social network announces its e-mail service is being tossed because nobody really uses it.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
James Martin/CNET

Facebook announced Monday that it's getting rid of its e-mail service.

E-mail service, you say? Yes, the social network actually had a service for e-mail addresses that users could get when they signed up -- not to be confused with Facebook Messages, Chat, or Messenger. Very few people actually used the service, according to the social network, hence, its retirement.

A Facebook spokesperson told CNET that the social network has started notifying people who use their e-mail accounts that the "feature is changing."

Now, when someone sends an e-mail to a Facebook address, it will no longer go to Messages, but rather to people's primary e-mail address linked with the social network, like Gmail or Yahoo.

"We're making this change because most people haven't been using their Facebook e-mail address, and we can focus on improving our mobile messaging experience for everyone," the spokesperson told CNET.

Facebook just gave its mobile messaging a major boost. Last week it announced it was buying messaging service WhatsApp for $16 billion, plus an additional $3 billion in stock grants.

Even with its e-mail service now dead, the WhatsApp deal shows that Facebook is serious about being a powerful contender in the global messaging scene.