Social Networking will eliminate email inboxes

I was thinking about this exact article content today. Whenever I first jump onto to the internet, I immediately check my facebook account and see what’s new and then Google Reader to see new articles fed to me via RSS and then my various email accounts.

But Facebook and other forms of social networks have started to eliminate email inboxes. We no longer swap email addresses with new people we have just met – its now “facebook me” , or “add me via facebook”. Before that it was “give me your number” and then “drop me an email”.

I’m using less email today and more of facebook and other tools like twitter, LinkedIN, yammer to see what people are up to. It’s much faster to do some microblogging via my facebook status or tweet it, then to drop an email to 20 people.

The other thing is, I don’t see why more transactions are completed within facebook or other social networks. To me these are like portals to the internet, where one day we could be doing banking transactions, searching, reading news, applying for jobs, buying goods and services through them. I’ve read that some people are trying to develop this, and it makes sense since we spend so much time within these networks anyway.

But it’s still going to be a long time before social networking eliminates email inboxes. Consumers and business people still prefer email as a form of communication. It is a much more trusted than blogging. Something like 20% of consumers trust blogging, though that percentage gets up to 40% amongst actual bloggers. I do believe that social networking and in particular RSS will replace email, as more people use these tools and the next generation arrive into the workplace.

Personally, I subscribe to about 15 different blogs / newsletters via RSS. I did it initially because I wanted to try it out, but its so awesome! I get regular updates and the newer stuff moves to the top. If I dont read the older stuff that’s ok, and I can quickly scan all the articles that I want to read. RSS isn’t widely used amongst friends and colleagues, but it should be!!! Instead of clogging up your inbox, it actually frees it up.

I’m out like email,

Matt Ho.