Report: 20pc of employees to replace email with social networking

Email has dominated the online space ever since two computers started talking to each other. Now that might change. Email is the most used and the most dreaded tool available on the Internet. Email’s dominance is being challenged by the new kid in the town – social networking. Social networking, which is having a golden period right now, will be the communication tool of choice in the future. And I can already see Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg smiling.

As per Gartner, by year 2014, 20pc of employees will replace email communication with some form of social networking. That is of course, if we survive the Armageddon of the year 2012. Email isn’t going anywhere but the way you send an email or a message will be different. Email will include some social attributes and social networking will include some email capabilities and they will meet in the middle.

“Today, social paradigms are converging with e-mail, instant messaging (IM) and presence, creating new collaboration styles. However, a truly collaborative, effective and efficient workplace will not arise until organizations make these capabilities widely available and users become more comfortable with them. Technology is only an enabler; culture is a must for success.”

“The rigid distinction between e-mail and social networks will erode (source)

Social Network Mapphoto © 2009 Butch Lebo | more info (via: Wylio)
















Rapportive, a social CRM plugin for Gmail, does something similar. It provides a social preview of the contacts by searching across social networks like Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. This idea can only be extended to integrate email and social networks. For that to happen a new kind of company has to integrate stuff easily. A company good with email doesn’t have a good social network and a company good with social networking doesn’t have a good email client.

Google Wave is one such project which was in between a social network, instant messaging (IM) and an email. It is not a completely synchronous like an IM, nor is it completely asynchronous like an email. Wave does provide some social networking capabilities, though not full blown features like facebook. I like what we can do with Google Wave. May be Google has pulled the plug on it prematurely which made its creator to flee Google and work for Facebook. Google Wave might be a product which is ahead of its time, but so is everything we have seen in the technology world.


Gartner forecasts that by 2012, RIM and Microsoft will own 80 percent of the enterprise wireless e-mail software market.

Future of email is cloud

Gartner predicts that the percentage of e-mail accounts on cloud services will grow to 10 percent by year-end 2012, up 7 percent from 2009. If the cloud mania is anything to go by, that percentage can go further up.