Yahoo and Google to turn Email into a social network

One of the clever things that Facebook does is how it gives users an option to initialize their social graphs from their address book data on Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail and Gmail to see which of their friends are already on Facebook. I didn't bite, in fear of giving my credentials to Facebook (even though they promise to discard them after data is pulled), but a thought struck: isn't social graph basically a more fashionable way of saying address book 2.0?

Then yesterday I read this blog on NYTimes that Yahoo! is working to turn existing user profiles and address books into a social network and they're calling it INBOX 2.0. Google is allegedly doing something similar. Makes sense.

I have been thinking for years that address book should be consulted during spam detection to minimize false positives, and the only systems which have your address book in their possession and also handle your Email are webmail providers. Extending it to create social graphs seems like the logical next step.

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I currently live in San Francisco Bay Area. For the past seven years, I have been designing and building messaging solutions for Sun.

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