Is Email Really in Danger Because of Social Media?

If Anything, Social Media Fuels Email

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I’m not sure which came first, the idea that social media is killing blogs or social media is killing email. Both arguments are brought up every so often, and both are equally ludicrous if you ask me. Earlier this week, we examined the former, and interestingly enough, the latter was also brought up by recent data from comScore and the Pew Internet Project. 

Actually, it was The Discovery Channel, who looked at the data and asked, "Is email dead?" 

Is Email dying at the hands of social networks and texting? Tell us what you think.

"Overall, when you look at how many teens have ever sent an e-mail, it’s most of them, so it’s still being used," said Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist with the Pew Internet Project. "It just isn’t used for communicating with people you’re primarily communicating with in your life, namely your friends, and it’s absolutely true that text messaging and messaging through social networks has supplanted e-mail messaging to friends."

People might turn more and more to social networks for casual conversations, link sharing, and things like that, but call me when your banking and all your professional communicating are done through Facebook. In fact, call me when you receive notifications from all the social media sites you participate on are sent to your Facebook account (unless you count Facebook’s new email service). The jury’s still out on Facebook’s new messaging system, but let’s not forget, it launched with Facebook.com email addresses. 

Is mobile killing email? Not so much. Recent data, also from comScore finds that mobile email usage is seeing significant growth


Email will continue to evolve, but it’s not going away – at least not in the foreseeable future. If social media’s going to kill email, it’s going to have to do a lot better than what it does so far. 

If anything, social (along with mobile) is helping email. 

What do you think? Is email in danger? Share your thoughts.


Is Email Really in Danger Because of Social Media?
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  • http://www.feelfree.co Guest

    Email is still a very effective way of marketing because most of the time I come to webpronews.com due to the email I receive… feelfree.co

    • Chris Crum

      Our email newsletters have proven quite powerful for us.

  • http://www.opticempire.com.au Tarik

    Don’t you need an email account to sign up to most if not all social networks anyway?

    • Chris Crum

      All the of those that I’ve signed up for have required one.

  • http://sports-car-wallpapers.com/ Claudia

    i don’t unnderstand why email danger for people

  • http://www.olivierriviere-consulting.com Olivier Riviere

    Why would e-mail go away?

    E-mail is one channel, social media is another one (or rather a sert of channels) . Social media offers the advantage of being more dialogue-focused. E-mail offers the advantage to allow dispatching “intelligent content” to many people rapidly. In addition, volume and impact are two very different parameters and this is a very complex question with no one fit all answer.

    All in all marketers have to define the mix of channels that best fits their business and their target groups. This is common sense although too many self-preclaimed social media (visionnary of course!) experts seem to ignore this. Let’s let common sense prevail while keeping an open mind for the pace and variety of innovation in marketing (no, it is not a paradox)..

    • Chris Crum

      Email is still doing quite well for marketers.

  • http://www.jubejube.net facebookedURmom

    sure they are great for keeping in touch with distant friends or joining causes most ppl don’t even know what those causes are about but when it comes down to it…. I need to send a doc to work or send out notice to friends and family, do I really want to use some privacy destroying social site and they don’t even offer a proper secure file upload/send. Half the time I need a full sized power system with the latest browser to just upload my pics in an organized ‘album’. If i upload them from one of my beloved mobile devices these sites default to mobile versions (even though they handle full html pages just fine) and only lump all the photos in series to the ‘wall’ …So I’m using a smartphone on a stupid site…
    Email is tried and true, like http, irc, IP, xhtml, etc

    • Chris Crum

      File attachment is another great point.

  • http://www.ownstlucia.com/ Carla Lendor

    Honestly I feel some “so called” experts just like drawing attention to themselves. So they come up with these out of the planet arguments. i do support the argument that the value of email in the casual context has lost significance and I will go so far as extending that to phone calls. However, to suggest that social networks will replace email in the business is nothing short of ridiculous.

    While organisations have overwhelmingly embraced email as business tool the same cannot be said about social media. I know in my organisation it is banned and the same is true for a number businesses. So you tell me how and when do you see social media replacing email as a business communication tool? If email has lost its value then I look forward to the day when my bank communicates with me via an SM site. I await with baited breath.

    • Chris Crum

      There are certainly plenty of business applications for social media, and a growing number of SM-related business tools. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea for any business to completely ban social media in every form, but either way, it doesn’t diminish the value of email.

  • http://www.thecollectorshub.com The Collectors Hub

    Email isn’t going away anytime soon especially in the business community. It true that text and instant messaging are being used more in a business setting, but these are being used in place of a quick phone call or a walk to that person’s desk.

    • Chris Crum

      I can see that, yet phones and vocal communication are still thriving too.

  • http://www.yain.com Edward Han

    Emails are not going away even though we are facing spams daily. It is an effective way of communication. I do believe that everyone is trying hard to put a stop to spamming emails especially those attached with trojans.

    I will be looking forward to see an end to junk emails and safe emails system.

    • Chris Crum

      Spammers put a lot of effort into email, because they know everyone uses. There’s practically no getting around it. Many more people use email than any social network – that means more potential victims. If email went away, and everyone was exclusively using Facebook to communicate, spammers would spend a great deal more time cracking the social network’s filters and security.

  • http://africatopforum.com Chris

    Well, don’t expect that soon.

  • http://poltergeistisland.blogspot.com HANK HOKAMP

    It seems that almost everything negative in the news for the past few years boils down to children and teens. Now they’re taking advantage of e-mail programs and texting, complete with cell phones. No solution to these aspects of self-styled social development. Too bad. Many are dumb as rocks.

  • Guest

    This has nothing to do with the question…moron.

    • Chris Crum

      I think it has a lot to do with it.

  • http://www.thedigitalconsultant.biz Guest

    See http://thedigitalconsultant.blogspot.com/2011/01/is-there-still-place-for-email-in-2011.html

    As this presentation shows, email is predicted to grow from 2.9 billion accounts to 3.8 billion by 2014.

    So although social networks are clearly the fastest growing communication technology, email remains a potent weapon in the digital marketing arsenal.

  • http://signature.eu.com/we-promote/email-marketing/ Signature Web Marketing Works

    Nice one Chris. It’s old school v’s new school marketing. The average return on investment for email marketing in 2009 was more than

  • http://www.autoreverseweb.com Souleye Cisse

    a personal message that you can read at your leisure and focus on, vs an endless stream of inane comments that dripple through the day. you may have 1000 friends on facebook but are they really friends? as far as I’m concerned, I use social and email both for the same purpose. even on social networks, there are a lot of things that you communicate privately through messages that to me bear all the hallmarks of email. maybe I’m too old but I think that text messaging is a very counter-intuitive way of communicating.

  • http://www.sahelmarketing.com Seo Expert Sf Bay Area

    We are there yet and there’s still years before we can declare email dead.
    Social media at its current stage allow people of all ages to connect and share ideas and insights.
    However by its own nature, social media is limited as far as one-on-one communication is concerned.
    That is interactions are not personalized.

    When talking about teens the fact that that demographic is using social media fro expression more than email is absolutely understandable. However they are not the one currently running businesses of all sizes. Adults do and they use email for private communications.

    Email is and still is the most effective business tools as far as marketing and communication is concerned.

    Social media has a long way to do before it replaces email.
    I find that all those media are complementary.

  • http://www.webwisesearch.co.uk Ben

    Must admit though being lucky enough to have the new Facebook messaging system and I love it. Great having my @facebook.com email address and it is so easy to manage email, instant chat and private messages all in one location. In my opinion Facebook are on to a real winner with the new system and once it rolls out to everyone it will grow from strength to strength.

  • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

    Social media is useful for conveying sound bytes but not very useful for communicating on any subject in depth.

    Social networks have their uses but they will never replace email for many applications.

  • http://www.ldii-sidoarjo.org LDII

    Social media rising up will kill nothing. Every platform has it’s own field. The advantage of social media network is its easiness, but it doesn’t have blog and email features.

  • http://www.principledestiny.com Dave Cleinman

    E-mail is now a function of Social Media, not a victim. Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, even Youtube have built in messaging services that are essentially e-mail.

    E-mail sent from e-mail “accounts” to other users’ accounts is not as common simply because it is more efficient to e-mail from within a social media interface. However, as with most trends, there will likely be a swing back to regular e-mail at some point. People who jump on fads, such as social media friending, often jump back off over time.

    What is really significant in all this is that spam is killed by social media e-mail interfaces, and therein lies the biggest benefit of using social media as contact central.

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