1 in 5 business users to abandon email for social network by 2014

Facebook in recent months reached many milestones. Like in the week ending March 13, 2010 Facebook surpassed Google in the US to become the most visited website for the week. Other achievements, are Facebook.com reached the #1 ranking on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day as well as the weekend of March 6th and 7th. In addition the market share of visits to Facebook.com increased 185% in the March 8-13 week as compared to the same week in 2009, while visits to Google.com increased 9% during the same time frame.

Although many of the above were first time events, this points to some important changes happening the way we interact.

As you know Google started including twitter real-time content in its search results. Google’s Buzz is adding social network like features to gmail. Yahoo too had a deal with twitter only recently. With this the fine line between email services and social networks is fastly fading.

So does that mean social networks are going to be the hubs of all the activity in coming years? It seems likely to be so. And it will not be too wrong to say that there’ll be no standalone email, search etc. five years down the lane and all one finds will be social networks.

Much of the activity will be taking place at these social networks. And that will not be restricted to just personal communication; but business communication will also be to these social networks.

The cue to the extent of businesses using social networks in four years from now comes from a recent Gartner prediction.

Gartner feels that by 2014, social networking services will replace e-mail as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 percent of business users. The research firm attributes this to the fading distinction between e-mail services, which will by then take many social attributes (the process has already started) and social networks will be having richer e-mail capabilities.

This again indicates to what we discussed in the beginning—four years down the lane there will be no standalone email services and such services will have graduated fully to some form of social network. --------

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