Facebook plots Gmail rival

Facebook is expected to today announce a web-based email aimed at directly at Google’s Gmail.
 
The social networking company will reveal the details of its “project Titan” email at an event in San Francisco Monday morning local time, sources told the TechCrunch blog.
 
Project Titan will be a full-fledged webmail service, and has been referred to internally as a “Gmail killer,” the sources said.
 
The new service will prompt sweeping changes to Facebook's messaging systems, others told Reuters.
 
The move is just one more sign of sharply escalating conflict between the internet search champion and the social networking heavyweight as they increasingly encroach on each other’s territory.
 
Google earlier this month blocked Facebook from accessing its user data such as contact details, on the grounds that Facebook did not reciprocate.
 
The two have also been increasingly competing for Silicon Valley staff, with Google last week announcing a 10% pay rise in an apparent bid to stop Facebook from poaching its employees. Google also last week reportedly offered one engineer $3.5 million (€2.5 million) worth of restricted stock to stay at the company instead of leaving for Facebook.
 
Up to 10% of Facebook's staff were initially employed at Google, the Independent said.
 
These include the man credited with creating Google's Gmail service, Paul Buccheit, who on Friday quit Facebook to join tech investment firm Y Combinator.

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