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Facebook draws user ire with email switcheroo

MENLO PARK, Calif. >> Facebook has changed your email address. At least that’s how many felt after a quiet but vast change in the way the company displays users’ contact information.

In yet another change to its website that irked users, Facebook replaced the email address you picked to display on your profile page when you signed up for the online social network and changed it to an address.

Previously, users may have had a or address displayed, so that if other users wanted to contact them outside of Facebook, they could. Sending an email to a address will land the email in the messages section of your Facebook profile. It means keeping Facebook’s already-captive audience even more captive.

The email change was first pointed out by bloggers over the weekend and publicized by media outlets Monday, leading to gripes from users, usually on their Facebook pages.

But you can reset your profile if you’re bothered by the change. Facebook didn’t delete the previously displayed email addresses. To revert back to your original address, click on the “about” section of your profile. Once there, look for “Contact Info” and click on the edit icon on its right hand corner. There, you can change who can see your email address and which email addresses they can see.

Sending an email to a email address allows users to communicate with outside email addresses via Facebook, but it’s unclear how popular they have been. Popular as it has been with more than 900 million monthly users, Facebook messages and posts have not replaced email, texting and other forms of communication.

Facebook didn’t say why it made the email switch, though it said in April it was “updating addresses on Facebook to make them more consistent across our site.”

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