10 Reasons Social Media isn’t Replacing Email

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Update: VerticalResponse CEO Janine Popick has written a separate piece adding 10 more reasons.

Original Article: The Wall Street Journal just ran a piece about the evolution of communication technology, chronicling the rise and alleged fall of email to social media. "Email no longer rules," the title reads.

Do you agree that email no longer rules? Tell us why or why not.

"We all still use email, of course," says Jessica E. Vascellaro, the author of the piece. "But email was better suited to the way we used to use the Internet—logging off and on, checking our messages in bursts. Now, we are always connected, whether we are sitting at a desk or on a mobile phone. The always-on connection, in turn, has created a host of new ways to communicate that are much faster than email, and more fun."

Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t all social networks also require logging on to use? Sure, you can set them up to remember your info so you don’t have to log-in every time, but the same could be said for most email services. That’s beside the point though.

It’s fun to look at how communication has evolved, and it’s easy to declare the old medium dead (although to be fair, Vascellaro didn’t exactly go that far). It’s just not the case.

WebProNews recently ran an article about how social media will not replace search, despite plenty of mutterings to the contrary. I will go ahead and declare the same thing about email. Social media will not replace email. Just as it did with search, it may replace it in some (even many) instances, but there is room for both forms of communication. In fact, they do a pretty good job of complimenting each other (for better or for worse).

Facebook Wants Your Email Address Too

Reasons Email Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon

1. People still send hand-written letters via snail mail, even though they could instead make a phone call, send an email, text message, or status update.

2. Nearly all sites on the web that require registration require an email address. Some are starting to integrate social media into this process (through things like Facebook Connect), but that is still a very small fraction, and they typically still allow for email information as well.

3. Email notifies you of updates from all social networks you are a part of (provided your settings are set up that way).

4. We haven’t seen any evidence yet that Google Wave really is the next big thing and will catch on on a large scale.

Email Button on Keypad 5. Email is universal, and social networks are not. Nearly everybody on the web (while there are no doubt some exceptions) has an email address. Many places of employment give employees email addresses when they begin working there. Meanwhile, a great deal of them are banning workers from even accessing social networks.

6. There are plenty of people who have no interest in joining social networks. Frequent news stories about security, privacy, and reputation issues do not help convince them.

7. Email is still improving. It hasn’t screeched to a halt with the rise of social media. There is still innovation going on, and integration with social media. Look at how Google is constantly adding new features to Gmail. Look at the new Yahoo Mail.

8. Even social networks themselves recognize the importance of email. Never mind that they update users about community-driven happenings via email. MySpace (still one of the biggest social networks) even launched its own email service recently.

9. More social media use means more email use. Look at these recent findings from Nielsen. The people consuming the largest amount of social media are also the people consuming the largest amount of email.

10. As far as marketing is concerned, email is doing pretty well, as many companies continue to struggle to find the right social media strategy to suit their needs.

Email Marketing

Let’s expand on that last one a bit. There have been a significant number of studies released in recent memory, indicating that email marketing is doing quite well. Epsilon shared some findings about how email marketing is driving offline purchases. The same firm also found that email open rates increased for the fourth quarter in a row (up 18% YoY according to the most recent study). Forrester Consulting and ExactTarget found that email marketing is the most popular channel for consumers. Earlier this year, Forrester Research reported that email marketing in the U.S. alone was expected to reach $2 billion by 2014.

Is the email landscape changing? Yes, without a doubt. Social media has become a very large part of the online lives for many Internet users. Earlier this year, social sites were even said to have surpassed email in usage. That said, Facebook has come significantly close to matching Google in terms of unique visitors, but that doesn’t make Google any less important does it? The two can co-exist, and so can email and social media. They are co-existing.

Email marketers are facing new challenges with an increasingly social and mobile web. For tips on embracing this, check out our coverage of a related session from the recent Shop.org summit.

Related Articles:

People 18-24 Would Rather Give Up Social Networks Than Email

Social Networks Blamed For $2.25B In Lost Productivity

Some Brands Have Good Ideas For Social Media. Do You?

Making Money With Social Media Marketing

Report: Online Video the Top Priority in Marketing

Do you think social networks will replace email? Share your thoughts here.

10 Reasons Social Media isn’t Replacing Email
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  • http://www.metroplexinteractive.com MetroplexInteractive

    Email is going to go away anytime soon but this article highlights the unavoidable fact that social media is quickly replacing traditional (er, electronic) forms of communication. Social networking, SMS, MMS, tweets and the like have the advantage of immediacy in an easily absorbable form which is why so many have adopted them as their preferred method of communication – after all, we live in a sound bite world don’t we? I predict that these new forms of communication will continue to become more unified such that in the future there may not be a distinction between SMS and MMS, then text and social posts.

  • http://www.alumnifutures.com Andy Shaindlin

    Thanks for highlighting this discussion topic. I don’t believe that there’s a pitched battle in which either e-mail or social media will emerge victorious. It seems more like the e-mail medium is evolving as are the social tools, and they will meet somewhere in the middle. Furthermore, with the possible exception of points 6 and 7, your list is focused on what’s been true in the past, but doesn’t account for where trends might take us in 6 to 18 months (or pick your own future window).

    Btw, I wrote about this from a higher ed viewpoint last month, and will include a link to your posting as well: http://www.alumnifutures.com/2009/08/death-of-email.html

    • Chris Crum

      Thanks for the link Andy, but you got the title backwards.

      You think all but points 6 and 7 will change in the near future?

  • http://www.vaargentina.com Vicky Miles | Bilingual Virtual Assistant

    Chris, great article. Thank you!

    Really, I don’t know exactly how e-mail will evolve. To me, however, your article was a good warning to make sure that with all this social networking hype we don’t forget about other communications channels.

    I still love getting real and not virtual Xmas cards, for example! Fewer, of course… but it’s still great to me! LOL

    Saludos from Argentina!

  • http://www.centauria.com/ WebDesigner

    I wouldn’t even compare email and social media. To me these are two different tools and I use them for different purposes. I like my email to come downloaded on my machine and not to keep it on a server. I can then reliably back up all my contact information, my messages and drafts. I don’t trust that even Gmail and Yahoo mail will always be there for me when I need them. Even Google servers go down at times. And do they guarantee that they will never lose your data due to unforeseen technical events? As a user you have more control over your email than whatever chat history you’ve created on social media sites. Imagine that some of the social media sites aren’t going to be around in the next few years: many of them are still money loosing ventures. Email is going away? I bet overhyping of social media will fade away before that.

  • http://www.culinaryschoolfinder.com Mike

    After the last 6 months of testing different marketing strategies via Facebook and Twitter, I do not see them replacing email any time soon – at least for a marketing channel. As for regular communication, I think social media and email will coexist indefinitely. I know many folks who 1. have tried social media and hated it and 2. are too Luddite in nature to even give social media a try – leaving good ol’ email as their preferred communication method.

  • http://www.wordwealthy.com Laura Walsh


    Really nice article.

    I think your point (1) is the best support for email sticking around for a VERY long time. However, I don’t believe it will continue to be our primary means of communicating.

    A friend of mine is a systems analyst for a large university. He’s spent time studying email traffic among undergrads and grad students.

    He maintains email traffic among undergrads is minimal. They do not use email, except to communicate with “adults” who don’t use facebook, twitter or texting.

    Most eye-opening for me were his stats on inbox capacity for undergrads vs. grads. Undergrads used about 25% of capacity, whereas grad students used 95% or more!


  • Tim M

    Social networking may take the place of email in a purely social setting, but for businesses, I can’t see this will be the case. If more than half the companies currently ban the use of social networking sites altogether for productivity reasons, then the time they replace email in this setting is a long way off. The thinking that a person can respond immediately to texts, tweets, etc., is also not valid in a business setting. In fact, this type of correspondence takes away from a worker’s focus on the task at hand. Email, on the other hand, allows the worker to address necessary correspondence when appropriate.

  • http://jeffhenry.giving.officelive.com Jeff Henry

    Email won’t go away soon and be replaced by social media. They are synergistic and support each other (social media tends to be more mass vs targeted for email). However connected set-top boxes may soon erode generic email as a target communications vehicle

  • http://greenlasagna.com Deborah A.

    I agree with you. Email is much more personal, and it’s highly unlikely that anyone is interested in hacking into personal emails just to read them, like they do on social network messaging systems. Email has fewer “hands” touching it, thus making it feel more secure for personal messages. Spam stoppers are so good now, that it’s hardly even a problem on web mail anymore.

    I do think that computer based mail will eventually go the way of newsgroups, though. Too many better alternatives out there. I would never use computer based mail anymore.

    • Guest

      Years ago, when Instant Messaging first appeared through AOL and others, there was talk about that replacing corporate communications–it didn’t.

      My son is on facebook and texts all the time to his friends. I do not. I work in an position that requires communication with lots of people on a regular basis. That communication has to be targeted, reliable and secured. It also has to be retained and backup on a daily basis. Social networking does not allow that–as far as I know.

      Something like Twitter does not allow enough flexibility.

      E-mail will probably evolve into something that might look different and the technology behind it may change, but it is going to be the communication method of choice for people who want to restrict where the mail goes, not be faced with the abbreviations used in social networking and other similar issue.

      Social networking has a place. That has been proven–however, it will not replace e-mail.

  • http://bestdealsontheweb.co.uk Guest Eric

    The same way snail mail itsn’t going away lets look at legal stuff in its pecking order email through Adobe = draft same as fax snail mail is the only answer. Email non legal gives you a contract for purchasing ie Ebay, Email gives you the time to answer when you want to! and you must be such a sad person or totally housebound to want to social network when you can go to a local bar pub or club and find loads of interesting people or even better join a politcal group and do your best to put the world right! Or why not get married or shack up and use your brain to find things to do and talk about without boring each other its harder that you think, social networking in this situation is a cop out!

  • john damn

    Of course NOT .. watta stupid post ! 10 reasons why COWS will never FLY, try this one next time.

    • Chris Crum

      If a respected publication tries to convince people that cows are starting to fly, I may consider such an article. On the other hand, they’re doing some pretty fascinating things in science these days. I wouldn’t say never.

  • http://www.venustemple.com Body & Bath Products

    Email is one of the most precious commodities online for very goog reasons.
    Using email allows the personalization of online interactions and business exchange. Companies are paying higher prices tan ever to collect emails for their marketing campaigns.

    One other indicator of email importance is the increase in email spam. Once the bad guys leave then we will know that email is doomed. That’s not the case yet.

    Besides the social networks have not mature enough in terms of demographic adoptions that most companies see social media as another company time waster. More and more youngsters are spending time on the web these days and that explains the rise of social networks. As far as doing business, email is still on eof the main means of communication, just like the phone and snail mail.

    Any new medium of communication is just another line in the information highway. Therefore it can just allow smoother traffic, in this case, better communication opportunity.

    I for one agree with you: Email is here to stay.

  • http://princeporter.com Porter

    Social networking sites change over time, myspace was once the big thing, and from what I’ve seen now, nobody I know uses it anymore. I want a mail service that’s going to be around, and my email isn’t about to die off, or at least be something I’m not interested in anymore. It’s professional as well, I can’t tell a game sponsor to facebook me the details of a game sale, I need email to discuss the deal and send legal contracts back and forth. Bottom line, email isn’t going anywhere, not just yet.

  • http://www.webgoddess.net IH

    One way I notice that social networking is replacing email – and this is really great! – is in the sending around of big ol’ pics from the family. Now they just upload them to fb and I can browse at my leisure.

    I have a question: doesn’t anyone text directly to another person’s phone anymore? I’m tired of reading other people’s personal messages to each other on my fb wall.

  • Guest

    I agree heavily with point number 7. (Email is still improving). Email is evolving to adapt to the ideas of social networking and will incorporate all of these new ideas that are coming about. The email servers control people’s main identity on the web and this is a major advantage over the social networking sites.

  • http://www.siskiyouwebdesign.com Siskiyou Web Design

    For those of you old enough to remember, think about VHS Video vs. BETA Video, Touch-Tone Telephones vs. Dial Phones, Black and White TV vs. HDTV. Well, don’t ever say never, just because it does not make sense. There are people out there that still Hand-write a letter, but many that don’t. Yes, there are a lot of people who don’t use Social Media and never will and I don’t personally think that it will replace E-Mail, but I would not say never. Only time will tell.

  • Joey n7

    Of course like all people post here, the e-mail is the most important tool; social networks change in a few years and will change, the only tool that can help e-mail & only help is instant messengers but these sort of tools change almost nothing. Of course we still using newsletter and e-mail for best.

  • http://www.Tribal-Sports-Wear.net?eki=Wholesale Wholesale Apparel Club

    Well the way I see it is like this. Since Humans first created the written word, we have developed the need to write things down both for ourselves and to send to others. The method in which we have done this has obviously been evolving since the first word was written. We have come from stone tablets to parchment and now email / social networks and the like. It is clear that the method with which we use to do this will continue to evolve, as our technology increases. However I do believe that there will always be some type of ‘direct point contact method’ such as email or similar in the future. It may change it’s form and name, but personal written communications is a basic desire of the human race. It’s also nice to know that Apparel such as T-Shirts and Hoodies will probably always be around as well.

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Official Safety and Security

    Like lots of web site owners I utilize many social sites to socially market http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com and raise awareness for its products but I still use email to stay in touch with customers on a more personal level. I don’t think it’s either or but both. Thanks, Chris.

  • http://www.sebastyne.net Sebastyne

    Email is the hub that we need to keep connected to everything else – as it is anyway. Email might become useless /replaced at some point in time, but not in the near future. The fact is though, that the amount of personal email has diminished over time, but I still have friends who insist on using Email instead of having a Skype conversation, which I’d prefer in many cases, but since I can’t really tell them that “I don’t have email” or “I don’t want to install email” I’m stuck with it as long as they send me email. So I would guess that as long as there’s an email server working, people will keep using it, just like writing letters…

    When you think about it; Even writing on stone hasn’t died out yet. Just have a stroll at a grave yard or any park with memorial statues on it.

  • http://imwm.web.id Imam

    We still use email as my second identity after my Phone. And facebook or other is optional. :)

  • http://neighborwebmaster.com Neighbor Webmaster

    You really can’t compare social media and email. Social media is designed to communicate to a group while email is designed for one on one communication. There is some overlap of functionality there, but as a business owner I would never communicate with a client using Facebook or Twitter.

    I do think that email needs to evolve into a secure protocol with some sort of authentication to get rid of SPAM and email spoofing. Maybe a different protocol altogether is needed.

    • http://www.dotCOMReport.com PPC Tips

      I agree that email and social media are meant for different things. People are using social networking sites to replace email though. I personally will never give up on email. There is so much you can do with email that social media just doesn’t have.

  • http://www.latterkursus.dk/latterkonsulent.htm Ejvind

    There is no doubt that email stays. Maybe not in the same amount.

    At the moment 3/4 of the world are still cooking over open fire.. the same as humans have done since the first time fire was harnessed.

    We are creatures of habit and every new thing we learn to use, simply becomes part of the massive amount of choices we can make every day.

    Email is a choice – just as no email :-)

  • http://www.wchingya.com Ching Ya

    Definitely email is less of an option comparing to before. We have more ways to communicate to one another. Still, I believe email is here to stay. Eventhough Google Wave is trying to incorporate everything but I still find email the best way to record a conversations and a method to respond with deliberation, something an instant messaging might not able to do properly.

    Just a little correction for FB login: they are now accepting username logins besides email, if you already have your username picked up earlier, that is.

    Social/Blogging Tracker

  • http://www.ampli.com Michael Upton

    Email isn’t going anywhere because just like the article said, even snail mail is still in use. New means of communication create a cumulative effect. We don’t stop using old forms (at least not completely) we just add on to what we previously used. This is true for snail mail (although a lot fewer letters are likely sent today than were 30 years ago pre-email days), but it is way more true for the internet. Email is efficient enough to not cause people to abandon it. Snail mail is inefficient, but now that inefficiency adds something special to it (A letter from a significant other with perfume on it is way better than an email no matter how gushy it is). The question is will email become the snail mail of tomorrow in regards to sincerity? The movie “He’s really not that into you” pointed out the world is going this way lol. Anyway, happy emailing, facebooking, myspacing, and whatever else!

  • http://twitter.com/russjosephs Guest

    Come on, this is stoopid lazy! Write a real article why dontcha?

  • http://www.cpasitesolutions.com/ Brian O’Connell

    First of all, guest, we write top 10 lists because people read them, and as article writers it’s our job to get people to read our stuff and comment on them. If you don’t like top 10 articles don’t read them, and for heavens sake don’t comment on them, or we’ll just keep writing them.

    As to the article, the premise that we are “always on” is fundamentally flawed. Time to pull your nose out of the blackberry and look around. If you honestly think twitter can replace your email I think you need to explore the idea that you are on the cutting edge of some new kind of addiction.

    Seriously, though, while I must admit that I am one of those “always on” people, I would point out that the vast majority of people don’t have mobile internet access yet, and many who do either don’t know how to use it, or simply don’t care to.

    Even if everyone on the planet had a blackberry email would still rule. I routinely go a week or more without visiting my facebook page. I can’t even remember the last time I logged into twitter. 2 weeks? More? And you know, I love my blackberry, but sometimes I actually turn it off.


    I check my email every morning like clockwork. I use it to organize my workday, and I keep all my emails so I have a written record of all my client requests and communications. Twitter just can’t hold a candle to that. Social media is the virtual equivalent of the spoken word. It’s ephemeral; effervescent… fleeting and often ignored or even unheard. Email is, well, mail. It’s there, and it sits on your desk until you deal with it.

    Social media is an exciting, even important, new way to communicate, but to suggest that it’s on the cusp of replacing email is , I suspect, link-bait histrionics.

  • http://www.advancecom.co.uk Guest

    Long live the e-mail

  • http://www.FindFreedomAtHome.biz Carolee

    I think email is and always be a great communication skill IF someone is expecting an email from you. Even then, with all the SPAM, they may not see it.

    I am a home business owner, and I know if someone is not expecting an email from me, it will probably be deleted in a blink of an eye.

  • http://7mediagroup.com Ron Cariker

    E-mail is not dead, nor is social media killing it. I would argue the biggest impact on e-mail is SMS and mobile communications. Do you still trust every e-mail message you receive? Do you read past the subject line of even half of your e-mails? Do you recall the last time you ignored a text message?

    SMS has become a more effective way to communicate period. You trust a text message more than e-mail hands down. You rely on the immediacy of a text message more than e-mail. Your social networking sites integrate sms to their offering because they know you will respond to a text message before an e-mail message. You are more willing to receive a text message for meaningful communication over an e-mail message.

    No e-mail is not dead but it’s usefulness has waned. The true future of communications will be through texting and you will come treat e-mail very much like the days when you stood by the mailbox to get a letter from aunt bea. It’s meaningful but not vital.

  • http://www.lexolutionit.com Maneet Puri

    I dont think either of them has an advantage over the other. Instead, both email and social media will be excellent modes of marketimg if used in combination with one another.

  • http://www.artdivision.co.uk Jon Paget

    An interesting topic but I feel it’s point 5 which will ensure email endures (though there are a couple of others I weigh quite heavily). As for email being successful? I think you’re last paragraph needs some further context. The results published and the many user reports we receive and hear about indicate that email marketing is still a numbers game. It remains the case that the more specific you are with your marketing, email or otherwise, the more success you’ll inevitably have. Good topic!

  • http://www.swiftpage.com Annie Ogdon Cooley

    The reporting and targeting tools you can use in email marketing make email marketing a crucial part of your overall marketing strategy. When you utilitize automated marketing in a campaign you are able to decipher how to target your clients depending on their interactions with your email. If they don’t open the the email you can send them direct mail. If they click on a link promoting your upcoming event you can follow up with an email about the event.

    You just don’t have these same capabilities within social media. Social media serves as a great way to reach the masses and drive people to be interested in your company and visit your site. It is to educate and spread the good news about your company/industry. Email marketing takes it to the next level and invites them to become loyal customers.

    Email marketing is not dead, nor is it fading into the background. If you are not using email marketing as a marketing tool along side your social media tactics you are the one missing out.

    To read more about our email marketing ideas, visit our blog – http://swiftpage.wordpress.com

  • AnthroDragon

    I’d say we’re more in danger of losing the skill of hand writing than losing email. and Handwriting is going very slowly, we probably won’t see the near end of it for at least 50 years.

  • http://www.freeinternetmarketinggift.com/ Free Internet Marketing Gift

    Hey Mate, I’ve read a couple of posts on your blog and I love your style. I am going to subscribe to your RSS feed :)

    • Chris Crum

      Fantastic. Thank you.

  • Guest

    Email, as it is now, is of little real use.

    Most messages get bounced back due to incorrect input. Often the boxes are full or abandoned as people will change their email and without a net form of NCOA (National Change of Address), you don’t know where they have gone to.

    There is still no method to know who is who and who is where like you get with physical addresses. And that will always be the big issue with current email. It is akin to sending smoke signals. Maybe people will see it, maybe the wind will blow it away.

    And if you use email lists, you either get junk, old emails or you are thought of as a spammer.

    Even if you make a good site, get people to come, capture their info, market them in a good way; people change their email addresses (often like socks) and you lose contact with them. Especially if they are not web savvy and keep no permanent address like their own domain. It does no good if the email you started with was bingo1997@aol.com and every year it changes to bingo1998, 1999, 2000, etc. And there are people that do that!

    Having a good site, blog, social account and making it valuable even when you don’t want to sell a service or good; is the sure way to keep them. They come to YOU and keep YOU updated because they see value in YOU. On the flip side, YOU have to keep them entertained, informed and cultivate a relationship with them. That means time, data management and focus.

    Most companies don’t WANT to do that as it means money. Yet it is critical to do it in this consumer economy. It is no different than the old days when a grocer would know every customer by name, knew their spouse, their kids and what they buy or need all the time. That made it personal. And the customer would share updates on what they were up to, how the week was going, if the kids were doing well in school. And the merchant remembered it and ran with it.

    That means sites that ARE social. Ones where it is not just the company talking AT you, but WITH you. Faceless conglomerates will not do as well as connected, personal ones.

    Email, right now, cannot be tracked as easily as daily or weekly visits from your customers.


  • Guest

    In other countries (France and Moldovia), when there have been protests and civil unrest, the government shut down the social networks, like Facebook, so that people could not organize quickly. However, I never read or heard that these governments shut down email communications. So, email has its own role in times of unrest.

  • Greaner

    So who actually uses social networks and what do they use it for?
    Perhaps some business as a work around poor mans conferencing tool?

    Otherwise it seems to me that the users are needy people with a lot of time on their hands – perhaps government workers with desk jobs? Stay at home wives ro husbands or the indigent who have internet access.

    or of course teenagers – Wait a minute! I think that says it all right there – Social networks are used by teenagers and older people who still behave like teenagers whenever they can!

    People who need to communicate in an effective, safe and efficient way will opt for email unless something better comes along.
    Of course we must realize that email is the new phone messaging tool for people who are too busy actually earning a living to be on the phone or answering messaging all day.

    So if a better messaging tool comes along it might replace email – social media isn’t it!


  • http://www.zygella.com Joe

    Email is one of the greatest communication tools ever invented.

  • Guest

    I think both will evolve a bit and combine or blend into one glob, like a homepage with multiple features. Texting and short emails are about the same thing.
    If email providers could control spam, (gmail come up with a way) I think email would easily continue to prosper.

  • http://www.MasterLinker.com MasterLinker

    Social Media websites and email serve two very different functions. And while you can do without social media websites, you can’t do without email for business purposes (and most likely for personal purposes as well). In fact, social media websites even rely on email to some extent, not the other way around.

    I can’t believe somebody from The Wall Street Journal wrote such a ridiculous article.

  • Loraine Antrim

    There’s a flaw in reasoning here. The idea of social media replacing email or the reverse thinking, that email isn’t going away represent extremes. If the web has taught us anything, it’s that technology and how we interact with it is in flux. Both email and social media are morphing, and and they will continue to transform. Will one outlive the other? Not sure…no one can be. But we can be sure that technologies will augment and expand the uses of all the social media and email and text. We might end up with a combined model. Loraine Antrim

  • Catherine

    Email certainly isn’t going to go away; it will, however, be redefined, emulated and integrated in the same manner Google Wave’s shooting for. Like anything over the Internet, it’s going to morph to keep up with the needs and wants of the user – i.e. easier login methods over all networks, merging media resources for point and click management. Sure you’ve got your online and offline status, but as the article mentions, it doesn’t make a difference to email – it’s going to sit there until you deal with it.

  • http://www.adglitz.com krish

    email will always exist, it’s THE most basic communication channel on internet for ever, whether is web1.0 or 2.0 or 3.0 whatever. And like any product in the market it will keep evolving, companies will keep coming up with new features and people will keep flocking to them. In internet also I guess we have generations, the first generations took up hotmail (so someone using hotmail account mostly tells you that he would be 30, 35+), then someone came up with names which people can relate with professionally, like doctor.com, journalist com. Post Gmail massacre Yahoo now has ymail. Its pretty interesting to look back at email history.

  • http://communitymarketing.typepad.com Andrew Ballenthin

    With the exception for some mega online brands that have built followings I hear the question all the time from businesses, “how do I let people know about my blog or wiki or own branded community social network?”

    One of the biggest hurdles for businesses to climb is getting people to their standalone social media site. If people don’t subscribe to RSS how else is a business to notify people of content? Not all businesses want to juggle Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for the sake of not using email.

    BTW Chris, great articles. I’ve been following you and your content keeps getting better and more solid over time. Great work.

  • http://www.onlinemarktingconnect.com Alyse Speyer

    Finally! Yes, email is not dead. There are still plenty of applications to email marketing. We all use email, without one we couldn’t use social media. Just because social media is the newest rave, doesn’t mean it’s time to boot out the old. They both exist and are both effective. Here’s a good compliment to this article: http://www.onlinemarketingconnect.com/nomanisaniland/2009/10/current-and-future-use-of-email-info-sources/comment-page-1/#comment-2

  • http://www.orange-canyon.com Orange Canyon

    I suppose it’s possible that email will fall eventually into business only category, with personal users not really needing to interact in this way. People always look for the easiest path to a goal and private messages and wlal posts fill that spot when on a social networking site.

    Certainly I won’t write someone an email outside work unless I believe it to be fairly sensitive in nature or quite long.

  • http://switoonline.com gloryrose Dy

    I agree with this. Email is still popular. I asked my friends if they open facebook or their email first and they said email. It’s just that the email is more formal compared to the social media thing.

  • http://www.simon-gideons.com Guest

    Replaced no. why would it?. It is more direct and not so invasive of privacy as Facebook.However I for one no longer read the majority of emails that come into my box and have become an instant deleter so I would say for Interent marketing it is not going to work so well.Infact Marketers will have to work even harder and smarter in the future.

  • Guest

    Um, hello? You missed the one HUGE reason social media will never replace email: sending files! You can’t even use Facebook or myspace to send files to people, and even if you could, it wouldn’t be a very efficient way to do so.

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