Email, Social Media Communication Increases, IM Use Decreases

    May 5, 2011
    Josh Wolford

As part of a study commissioned by Microsoft, market research company MarketTools surveyed 1,268 professionals and students over the age of 18 about their email habits and other forms of communication at home and at work.

45% of those surveyed said that their use of email at work will most likely increase in the next five years. 51% said that it would likely stay the same. Only 4% thought it would decrease. At home, 36% of those surveyed thought their email use will increase, 55% said it will stand pat and 6% said it will likely decrease.

This shouldn’t shock most of us, as email has become such an integral part of almost everyone’s lives. Hell, the AP stylebook recently decided to go with “email” instead of “e-mail.” It really is it’s own thing – not just an electronic type of regular mail.

What is interesting, however, is when the study talks about specific tools for communication in the office. As expected, 96% of those surveyed says that in the past year their email use has either increased or stayed the same. Social Media, SMS, Phone and Face to Face communication has also all increased. The only form of communication that has declined is instant messaging – 14% saying it has increased, 15% saying it has decreased and 71% saying it has stayed the same.

As part of this study, Microsoft has also given us an infographic about the history of email. it tracks the service from its beginnings in 1965 at MIT (I know, 1965!) to Facebook integration with Microsoft Office web apps in 2010. Be warned, it is a little Outlook – oriented, as would be expected with a Microsoft infographic. It does chart the 1998 release of the Tom Hanks – Meg Ryan romcom You’ve Got Mail, which obviously makes the whole thing worth it.