Facebook announced it will be rolling out a small change in how people are able to search for others on Facebook and communicate with them: Facebook is syncing Facebook Timeline usernames (i.e. Facebook.com/USERNAME) with Facebook email account usernames (i.e. USERNAME@facebook.com).

Updated addresses will be rolled out over the next few weeks, said Facebook in a written statement. Note: Anyone who already selected an email address will not be affected.

Facebook has not provided statistics about how many people have initiated the Facebook email address, but the announcement makes it appear as though Facebook will begin to prod users to claim a username on their social network. The Facebook Timeline and Facebook emailing service will be directly aligned to compete with one of Google's most popular services, Gmail.

Facebook's email service works exactly as any other email service would, the main difference being the @facebook.com suffix. Facebook email is controlled through the messages area of the website and can be composed just as a normal Faceboook Message would be.

The only significant difference between Facebook email does not allow users to write a subject line. Instead, all conversations are organized by the sender.

Emails sent to a Facebook account appear in the messages section under the Facebook account that's linked to the sender's email address or under just under the email address. Subject lines sent to Facebook stand out in bold at the top of the message.

Emails sent out of Facebook email automatically recieve the email subject line Conversation with PERSON'S NAME. All other text appears in the body of the email.

To claim a username on Facebook, visit facebook.com/username.