For several years now, the use of e-mail as a means of conveying information has been part of everyday life for individuals, professionals and businesses alike. Is the future of e-mail under threat? Millions of people have been asking this question since the advent of social networks, blogs and instant messaging. All the more so as these technologies can now be accessed at any time via cell phone, smart phone or laptop.
E-mail longevity according to the experts
E-mail still has a bright future ahead of it. Without being superfluous, it integrates perfectly with the new tools that have recently appeared on the market. The proof is that Web 2.0 tools always turn to our e-mail addresses. As soon as a new event takes place on our Facebook or Twitter accounts, the information is automatically forwarded to our e-mail addresses. What’s more, checking e-mail several times a day has become routine for some people, even when they’re on the move. Finally, the e-mail function is complemented by social networking, instant messaging and blogging. It’s not about replacing e-mail, but about communicating with others in a different way.
The popularity of intact e-mail
According to the Kelton Research study published on the Journal du Net, 79% of respondents use e-mail as their main communication tool, followed by instant messaging, which is adopted by 26%. Social networks are in third place, with a usage rate of 9%. This survey shows that even though social networks have become popular in recent years, with several million active members, individuals and companies still prefer e-mail for its discretion and professional value. On the other hand, they prefer social networks and other media in their personal lives: chatting with friends, sharing photos, posting videos, etc. Contact with friends on social networks is by personal invitation. This limits access to shared information and knowledge. They are more user-friendly than e-mail.
The evolution of e-mail in the future
Today’s messaging services for the general public are increasingly richer in features and services than those available to businesses, which are fairly limited. This difference stems above all from the desire to control and regulate the information system that companies wish to make available to their employees. And yet, these new generations of young working people want to open up to the outside world in every way.
To remedy this, some consumer messaging services have integrated social networks, instant messaging, user diaries, etc. among their functionalities. All these services are available free of charge to all. Mobility is also a key issue for the future of email. According to research by Gartner, around one billion users worldwide will adopt mobile messaging by the end of 2014. Even if the current trend is towards e-mails for professional activities and social networks and others for personal activities, the emergence of a compromise between the different ways of communicating cannot be ruled out in the future.