Facebook to supplant email?

A few weeks ago, I had a discussion with my kid sister, in a humerous way she told me that she “Only uses email to communicate with old people like me“. And I’m not even in my mid 30s.

Apparently social networks like Facebook, MySpace, and now Twitter are moving up the age chain, and older folks are adopting it. In fact recent statistics showed that the largest growth in Facebook is actually 35+.

Aiden wonders if Facebook messages will replace email, maybe for certain demographics of heavy users, but not all.

“Many of my friends and colleagues are now using the internal Facebook messaging system more than e-mail. It has almost become an e-mail substitute. Having said that, they still check their e-mail as it is essential to daily life on the Internet. Nonetheless, messaging between Facebook members is usually accomplished within the social network rather than e-mail.”

Jason gives 5 reasons why Facebook
messages are better than email:

1. Permanence
2. Spam Blocking
3. Space Savings
4. It’s E-mail (plus)
5. It’s Also The Phone Book

One should note that Facebook is a limited phone book, as users not in Facebook (or users that dont want to be bothered) can’t be contacted.

The bottom line? Messaging is evolving and now has stronger network hooks, understanding these changes are key to being an effective communicator. The company trying to reach an audience on Facebook will obviously have to join this community and adapt to their tools.

Even adoption of these new applications are happening in a new way, if someone in my network starts to use one of these tools (like this mapping application) then users will sign up because of their connections and network within Facebook –likely not because of email.

I cut out instant messaging about 8 months ago and haven’t looked back, I’m much more productive and look for one-to-many tools to communicate. Email or the phone is a better way of communicating one on one.

On a personal note, I’m still putting most of my focus in blogging, as it’s an open network, in fact, I just upgraded to the latest version of wordpress and renewed my web hosting.