Facebook integration for iOS 6 will be launching in a few weeks along side the iPhone 5, which is pretty cool because now you’ll be able to share photos, update your status, or even like songs without having to open up the crappy Facebook app.
The only drawback for iOS 6’s Facebook integration is that Facebook is using it to push their “@facebook.com” email addresses to everyone. What it means is that even though no one uses their @facebook.com address or know they exist, your address book is going to be infested with them.
Facebook syncing in iOS 6 is a great way to keep your info up-to-date, it just doesn’t work perfectly right now. People change their contact info on Facebook more frequently than they manually tell everyone their new phone number or email address. iOS 6’s contact syncing with Facebook will update your friends’ phone numbers for you and their email addresses without you ever needing to do a thing. Problem is, it is also going to push their @facebook.com address to you as well.
Oh you didn’t know you have a @Facebook.com email address? Yeah, most of Facebook’s 900 million users don’t know that either, but Facebook has been pushing their email service since 2010, in an attempt to make people check their email at Facebook, instead of Gmail. It hasn’t worked yet, mostly because users don’t know about it.
So with iOS 6 Facebook is going to be able to update your contacts’ info on your iPhone. Sally updates her phone number and your iPhone will be updated magically. But when you set it up, the Facebook API is also going to push you Sally’s @Facebook.com address along with her @gmail.com address. The Facebook address is worthless, and if you send an important email to Sally she probably won’t see it for a few days.
In July, Facebook’s API was only pushing the newest email address a user had entered at Facebook – which for most users was their @facebook.com address. Facebook says they fixed the bug, but TUAW looked into it, and says they’re still seeing Facebook update contacts with the @facebook.com address along with everyone’s real address.
The problem isn’t hyper-critical. It’s not going to be the end of the world. But it is an ugly inconvenience to display email addresses that no one ever uses. Apple and Facebook should change the API so that users are asked if they want to sync friends’ @facebook.com address as well, but they probably won’t, so until then, we’re all going to be stuck with address books full of Mark Zuckerberg’s worthless email service.