Social media is such a growing at such an alarming rate that Facebook now thinks that email is dying. Classic. How many times have we heard this now? Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gave a recent speech at the Nielsen Consumer 360 conference recently, essentially claiming that 'truth'.
In consumer technology, if you want to know what people like us will do tomorrow, you look at what teenagers are doing today, and the latest figures say that only 11% of teenagers email daily. So email,as much as we like or dislike it, is probably going away. So what do teenagers do? They SMS and increasingly they use social networking. check out WebGuild.org.
I believe that Facebook couldn't exist without email - as you need an email address to sign up and to log-in. Many of us rely on email for notifications from Facebook to know when someone has sent us a message, commented on our posts, invited us to an event, tagged us in a photo, etc. In fact, I wonder how frequently the average Facebook user would come back to Facebook daily without email notifications.
But, cell phone numbers may be what everything eventually goes to, as I believe those are long-term 'accounts' for everyone today. Side advice for e-marketers - get the cell phone number along with the email address..
I think to be fair, Sandberg was looking to the future, and not the present when she made this claim. She even said that she couldn't imagine life without email. It's interesting, because Facebook is in some ways helping keep email relevant for the reasons mentioned above (though email certainly doesn't need Facebook's help to stay relevant).
Facebook does require you to use email to sign-up and log-in, but we are seeing more and more open protocols being used around the web for ID authentication. There are also not-so-open protocols in use, like Facebook Connect. We can log-in to a wide variety of sites/apps with our Facebook ID, but cannot log-in to Facebook with anything other than my email address. If Facebok thinks email is dying, does that mean it will adopt some other open authentication protocols?
What do you think - is email in any immediate or long-term danger of near extinction at the hands of social networks and/or SMS? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
For your success,