I love and hate email. Couldn't do without it, so much I would like to do to fix it. My use of social networks and messaging systems makes me think a future without email is not far off, and I've written long articles in the past on how technologies can improve our ability to manage internal and external communications for brands.
So this week, something caught my eye. The chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, spoke at the Nielsen Consumer 360 conference this week and touched on the topic of email. "If you want to know what people like us will do tomorrow, you look at what teenagers are doing today," she said. "E-mail--I can't imagine life without it--is probably going away."
Her speech is a bit of a Facebook sales pitch, but also a good fact dump. Fastcompany's write-up of the Facebook take on email is straightforward. This transition away from email presents huge opportunities for brands that seek to engage online:
"...This transition will be good for businesses and brand marketers. Why? Because while it's very difficult to gain access to a consumer's email address, connecting with them via social networks is quite simple. Indeed, with Facebook's 400 million members and 100 million daily mobile users, the network enables brands to connect with more customers than ever before--or, as Sandberg explains, "On any given day, you can reach twice as many people in the U.S. as watch American Idol --and that only makes up 30% of our global audience."
Here is a video of Sheryl Sandberg's talk, if you're interested in hearing more: