By Jason Meserve | Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 10:07 am
Given Facebook’s immense popularity, it comes as no surprise that it is the top place to share information, according to Mashable and sharing widget maker AddToAny. Facebook accounts for 24% of the sharing of links to articles, videos and other content, far outpacing second-place e-mail at 11%. E-mail’s hold on the second slot is in jeopardy though, as Twitter quickly rises through the ranks. The microblogging site accounts for 10.8% of information shared, AddToAny says.
E-mail’s demise as a sharing medium is not a surprise either: Its use among netizens stands at 65.1 percent, while “community sites” reach 66.8 percent. That data seems a bit odd, given that to do anything online, you need an e-mail address. Try signing up for Facebook without one. My guess is that figure refers toactive e-mail users.
At last week’s New Hampshire Social Media Breakfast, John Herman, a teacher at Epping (New Hampshire) High School, said his students barely use e-mail, mainly as a way to sign up for other services before forgetting their passwords and never checking e-mail again. Herman’s story is anecdotal, but does show e-mail’s decline as a central hub for information sharing.
Good or bad, e-mail is not going away. Corporations are not going to share vital company data via Facebook or other public service. But, social networks are perfect for sharing non-critical information with group of people and then aggregating responses from the recipients. Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the social networks could be the antidote for the dreaded “reply-all” disease. Rather than in-boxes cluttered with “Me too” and “That’s great!” replies from a litany of people you may not know, social networks are serving as the catchall for everyone’s need to chime in and giving hope to those that desire to “zero” their inboxes.