The Year 2010- 2011 witnessed a major boom in the field of social networking. Facebook and Twitter were the new buzz words. Google also entered the social networking domain with launch of Google+. Social networking has managed to bridge the gap between real life communication and virtual world. People find it easier to upload pictures of their personal moments, so that their friends can share their thoughts about the same. Social networking offers a real time communication platform to all its users. Even businesses have started to look at social networking as an opportunity to expand their business and reach the wider mass.
In this entire process of social networking boom, use of emails has declined considerably. Honestly think when was the last time you sent a personal email to a friend or relative. People would rather prefer to chat on different social networking sites or just post a message on their social networking Ids. Statistics by Comscore reveal that time spent on Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Hotmail and other e-mail services has declined in most Asia-Pacific regions, the most impacted are India and Malaysia. On the contrary, time spent on social networking sites has increased. There is a 40% increase in social networking users.
Emails are currently restricted to business use. Corporate giants like Coke and Dell are also utilizing the power of social networking to communicate with their customers. Social networking definitely offers a personal touch compared to emails, however social networking sites do not offer the privacy offered by emails. Social networking sites target the youth whereas emails have a larger target audience. Middle age adults still prefer to communicate via emails and telephone vis-à-vis social networking sites. Many middle aged adults find social networking sites complex to use. Considering the above mentioned scenario, one needs to rethink about Mark Zuckerberg’s statement that emails are dead.
Social networking sites are definitely the choice of today’s generation however speaking about the larger spectrum of audience, emails still exist. The question is whether emails would continue to be preferred form of communication in the coming years. If social networking site owners are able to counter the privacy issues on these sites then probably emails would be a history at least for personal communication.
It is too early to comment on extinction of emails as per statistics on business use of emails. Statistics reveal that typical business user sends and receives 105 messages daily. Around 49 per cent of e-mail users live in the Asia Pacific region. One cannot deny the fact that emails are safer and more legitimate way of communicating as compared to social networking. Only time will tell, if emails survive the social networking attack. Let’s wait and watch.