Online chat and text messaging have been on the rise for years but are now getting close to superseding email just as they did phone calls.
Most young people agree the problem with email is it involves a long process of logging in and typing out a subject line to send a message that may not be read or responded to for hours, even days.
Facebook has made changes to their messaging system to make it feel more like text messaging and less like email. By streamlining the steps necessary to send a message they’re giving users an easier path to instant conversation just like SMS.
“The future of messaging is more real-time, more conversational, and more casual,” said Andrew Bosworth, director of engineering at Facebook, where he oversees their communications tools.
According to the research company comScore the number of visitors in the US to major email sites like Hotmail and Yahoo are in steady decline. Visits peaked in November of 2009 and have dropped 6 percent since then, with visits from the 12-17 age group dropping 18 percent. Gmail is the only email service with an increase, of 10%, over the same period.
Both Yahoo and Gmail have added chat and text messaging features to their services to reflect the changing habits of users.
However, young people surveyed still agree email has its place in the work and professional world where the longer-form and ability to add attachments is necessary.