Facebook said today it has restored a feature that lets users receive email notifications of new messages sent by their friends, according to a company spokeswoman.

User have complained over the last couple of months that although they had turned on email notifications in Facebook's settings, they did not receive any.

A Facebook spokeswoman said the lack of notifications was "deliberate" as Facebook was conducting a test on the feature. She maintained there was no problem with the system.

"It was a test rather than a problem," according to a statement. "Facebook is constantly looking for ways to improve user experience and experimenting with new ideas and products, and some of these involve tests to see what user response is like. Ones that are successful may be launched as full products or go back for further development."

Facebook said the issue only affected "a small percentage" of users.

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