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Is Email on a Road to Extinction?

Summary: Not long ago spam seemed to have a death grip on the life of email. Today, email may have a bigger force to fear - the "instant gratification" generation. Why?

Not long ago spam seemed to have a death grip on the life of email. Today, email may have a bigger force to fear - the “instant gratification” generation. Why?

I come to this realization after reading a 2005 PEW report. The report discloses that “close to nine in ten teens are internet users”. “The number of teenagers using the internet has grown 24% in the past four years and 87% of those between the ages of 12 and 17 are online.” This is the largest area of growth in Internet users. According to this study almost half of these Web-using teenagers prefer to chat with friends via instant messaging rather than e-mail.

A ComScore Media Metrix Report supports this claim by reporting that “teen usage of Web-based e-mail dropped 8 percent” in 2005. 

These teens prefer to use cell phones equipped with text messaging and browsers for instant messaging. They flock to social sites like Facebook and Twitter to connect with friends, share files and join networks. Their Yahoo and Hotmail accounts are left virtually untouched. They are clearly a generation that demands “instant gratification” from technology. Something email does not provide.

Could this be the initial beginnings of the end of email? Is it possible this younger generation could bring email to the brink of extinction? Is it possible that RSS and Atom feeds can satisfy this demand? An interesting thought for email marketers and web portals that depend on email traffic.

Deb Alloway

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Posted by: admin, on 05/13/2008, in category "General Articles"
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