Could social media soon replace email?

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 8:40pm Thursday 10 December 2009

A recent study by Canadian company PEOPLE FROM COSSETTE, made the observation that social media could soon replace email as a means of sharing information. Could it be true? Facebook doesn’t think so and is planning a number of platform upgrades to share the users email addresses. But, could both of these marketing channels together destroy other forms of communication?

The survey by PEOPLE FROM COSSETTE (see slideshow below) found that more than three quarters of the online population uses e-mail to share information they deem important. But the trend favours social media, as one third of Internet users are already publishing this information directly online, compared to 20% last fall only (2008).

Furthermore, Gen Y (those aged 18 to 24) prefers social networks (26%) over e-mail (15%) to share information that is significant. Half of the members use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and 14% use it to communicate with family.

But Facebook has recently announced a series of changes to its platform where email is now a supported channel.  Facebook has long hidden the users email address, but will soon allow developers access to the user's verified email address.

Many recruiters rely on application-to-user and user-to-user notifications to reconnect with users, and this communication channel is disappearing.

That means, in order to remarket to users to let them know about new jobs, events, career fairs or promotions, you'll need to acquire users' email addresses.

In the 2010 Marketing Trends Survey by StrongMail. It shows that email and social media top the list of marketing tactics respondents will increase spending on in 2010.

Email still survives! What do you think?