Email is dying. We’ve been hearing this for years now. But with email being such an essential part of our daily lives, we wonder how that could possibly be? Well, because for the younger generation, email doesn’t seem all that important.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, recently gave a speech at the Nielsen Consumer 360 conference saying, “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.”
11%. How is that possible? Well, it’s actually not. The Pew Internet’s report she references actually states that 11% is the percentage of teens that use e-mail to “communicate with friends” daily. But it’s still important to understand. Because teenagers seem to only be using e-mail because they have to. Not as their preferred choice of communication.
So, how are they communicating? Well, remember, teenagers were the early adopters to texting – something that older generations are just starting to fully embrace. And a few years ago, texting was the fastest way to communicate. It communicated directly to your friend’s phone, which they always had on them. But now, with the rampant popularity of smart phones, e-mail provides the same service.
So the question is, are kids still choosing to text because it’s more convenient or simply because that’s what they’ve been doing for years now? Should we look at them as technological pioneers in order to understand what the future holds, or are they going to be the old-school people unwilling to adapt?
This prophecy of an “email free world” comes from the mouth of Facebook. But it’s hard to imagine how Facebook could exist without it. Messages. Comments on your posts. Event invitations. Photo tags. We find out about all of them through email notifications. Email is precisely what makes Facebook so addicting.
And some newer sites allow you to log in by using your social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter account. But Facebook itself still requires your e-mail address to log-in!
Perhaps Sandberg simply hopes that Facebook will be the one to unseat email from its throne in the future. But the future’s not here yet.