MySpace Building Stealth Webmail Product

MySpace is building a fully functional webmail product, we’ve learned from sources with knowledge of the product. MySpace mail will compete with services like Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Gmail and AOL Mail, and will on launch be the third largest webmail provider in the world.

All MySpace users will be assigned an email address of [username] The product is still in development, and we don’t know when it will be released.

The first hint of the new service was a reassignment of some MySpace employee email addresses to [name], which people have noticed. This is a sign that they are preparing to assign email addresses to users, which is exactly how Yahoo handled the transition when they launched Yahoo Mail in 1997 – Yahoo employees moved to email addresses. We’ve subsequently confirmed that MySpace is currently building a webmail product.

The largest webmail provider today is Microsoft, with 284 million worldwide users (Comscore). Yahoo Mail is the second largest with 277 million users. Gmail and AOL Mail are third and fifth, with 118 million and 50 million users respectively. MySpace’s 125 million active users (active being defined as logging in once per month) would immediately make them the third largest provider, assuming those users log in to the messaging/email feature. That’s very likely, given that it is the one of the most popular social networking features.

Messaging on social networks has to date trailed far behind cutting edge webmail services. MySpace currently allows only one-to-one messaging to other MySpace users, although integration with Google Gears in May 2008 dramatically improved performance. Facebook allows messages to be sent to up to 20 people and supports messages to outside email addresses, but the product remains essentially unusable as a productivity tool.

MySpace won’t confirm or deny this report, although they did send us this advertisement as an official comment:

Messaging is one of the most popular communication tools for MySpace’s 125 million users worldwide. We actively listen to the feedback we receive from our users and are constantly evaluating new ways to enhance the messaging experience for our community. Our recent collaboration with Google to introduce the first search and sort mail functionality into MySpace was extremely well received. We do not comment on company rumors or speculation but will share more details on additional product plans when we have news.