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July 19 2008

Wasn’t Email Supposed To Die?

A year and a day ago I wrote about how some bloggers had the idea that messaging on Facebook would replace email.

Yeah… anyone seen this happen yet?

As I have become more immersed then ever in the world of working on the Web, I have become even more convicned that thisis never going to happen.  This isn’t to say that something won’t eventually replace email, but it certainly isn’t going to be something like Facebook messaging.

When I was at the SummerMash Seattle last weekend, only one person asked to friend me on Facebook, and that was only because he had a computer right there he could do it with.  It is far too complicated to give someone your Facebook address as opposed to me saying “seanpaune@such and such”.  If you remember my name, you remember my address essentially.

You also don’t see anyone making a native way to gain access to your Facebook messages on your phone and other mobile devices.  Yes, there is now a Facebook application for you to use on the iPhone and iPod Touch, but that still isn’t as easy a concept as email.  If anything, I think services like Twitter are replacing the one line emails I thought Facebook might replace, and if anything, my Facebook traffic has declined in the past year.  Even more so than anything online, text messages seem to be being used more and more.  While I was in Seattle, I sent and received more texts in 2 days than I usually do in a month, and when not texting, I was getting messages on GTalk.  Even crazier?  People who usually don’t talk to me on the phone actually called me.

Total Facebook messages received while I was gone?  None.

While I do think the nature of communication is changing, moving to Facebook is about the last place I see it going.  It is still an enclosed system that takes too much work to access to be used as an effective messaging system for busy people.  So, one year on, I would have to call this concept even crazier than I did a year ago.



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