Back at the end of 2010, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg declared that email was about to go the way of the dodo because it was too slow and too formal. He predicted that web and text-based communications would dominate within a couple of years.
Well, it’s now approaching “a couple of years later”. Let’s see how far email has declined.
In the first half of this year, I estimate that I sent and received an average of about 8,000 emails. That’s about 70 emails per day, which is more than all of my phone calls, tweets, likes, shares, updates and chats put together.
Among those 70 emails per day were emails from Mr. Zuckerberg’s social network telling me that I have updates or friend requests pending. I also received daily emails from other social networking sites, especially Linked In, which incessantly tells me when various groups are updated.
I participate in a lot of conference calls. These are arranged via email. I also received a lot of RSS feeds, also via email.
According to Nathaniel Borenstein, co-creator of MIME, the Internet standard for email, over a trillion emails are sent a day.
If a company’s file server shuts down, people go for coffee. If the email server shuts down, the IT people barricade themselves against the inevitable user uproar.
Email is far from dead. While the use of text-based communication is certainly increasing, email will be around for many, many years to come.