Social Media Replaces Email and IM

In our social media trends post we suggested that people will use more social networks’ messaging instead of regular email and IM tools.

social media email

We haven’t seen any real research on this yet. In my opinion the convenience of using messaging tools without leaving the friendly social network will move a lot of email communication away from mail clients. I believe that this will happen mainly to personal email. When people talk to each other it’s only natural to use the tools that are right in front of you.

But not to fear, the email will stay with us some time yet. Businesses will continue to use email until some authentic way of private B2C communication channel becomes available for them on social networks. The second factor that keeps email alive is the rudimentary user experience of messaging tools in social networks. These tools are convenient but have only very basic functionality.

Now, a smart move for social media sites would be to include email in their environment. If a social network like Facebook would build a full-blown email client into its interface then Live, Yahoo and GMail would really have something to worry about.

In the instant messaging field the desktop apps have a lot more to worry about. The IM does not have 40 years of history behind it and the most used IM clients have only about 400 million users (Usage share of instant messaging clients). Well, in China they do.

The problems with social networks’ IM clients are similar to email. Rudimentary interface, lack of voice and video. But looking at my own IM habits it is not a problem as most of the communication is text-based and I don’t much care for the bells and whistles of the desktop apps.

Facebook can have a huge advantage by implementing these tools. So, what do you think when will we see the fully-featured email and IM clients in Facebook colors?

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Priit Kallas

Priit is the founder and CEO of DreamGrow Digital, an internet marketing and social media company. With his 20+ years internet marketing experience he is Helping companies to understand and use the digital marketing to reach their target audiences. He's also writing on a personal growth website He has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences on different aspects of internet marketing. Priit is also the organizer of Digital Elite Camp, a leading traffic and conversion event.

6 Responses

  1. Priit Kallas says:

    Gartner Reveals Five Social Software Predictions for 2010 and Beyond. By 2014, social networking services will replace e-mail as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 percent of business users.

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