Outlook’s facebook integration

Apparently, every time I send an email from my McKinsey email address, and someone uses Outlook to view the email, they see my current Facebook profile image–a picture of me dressed up as a knight from Halloween, some 15 years ago. I’d never noticed this, as a Lotus Notes and Gmail user, so it was a bit of a surprise to be peering over a client’s shoulder and seeing my profile picture pop-up.

I thought that leaving my Facebook image public was harmless. And I still don’t mind if someone who searches for my name finds it. Images on Facebook are expected to be less formal. But Outlook doesn’t make the source of the images really clear, and I can imagine that some of the more staid executives I’ve worked with wouldn’t be too amused by the image, and potentially see it as a signal of immaturity.

I’d say that removing my work email is the main solution, or I could just set my profile picture to private, or change it to something that’s better suited to work. Facebook encourages adding email addresses though (which are used to verify your network), and I see Facebook as my non-professional network. So none of the options seems perfect.

Thoughts / suggestions? Am I missing anything here?



I’m a senior product manager for OpenTable’s consumer products. I focus on major features, including our loyalty program, diner profiles, social integrations, and new business exploration.


2 thoughts on “Outlook’s facebook integration

  1. Dude, this is what LinkedIn was invented for — don’t use your professional e-mail address on Facebook.

  2. I agree that this is LinkedIn’s stated purpose.

    What I don’t like is that Outlook (presumably with Facebook’s blessing?) silently enables this functionality. This is the kind of thing that would make people uncomfortable with Facebook’s privacy — because setting matters. My profile picture on my Facebook page is in a clearly casual setting. Looking at my Facebook page is a bit like coming to meet me at my house–there isn’t any expectation that I’d be dressed business casual on a Saturday afternoon. Outlook is clearly an office setting, with different standards.

    I’m not sure Microsoft’s decision making process here, in enabling all this.

Comments are closed.