Monday, November 15, 2010

Facebook E-Mail (Of Sorts) – One More Way FB is Engaging

The ultimate battle discussion amongst Social Media experts is “which audience is more engaged” and therefore (ultimately what we want to know) are more likely to buy? Twitter or Facebook?

Today, Facebook launched its e-mail product. As of right now, it is by invitation only, but within 2-3 months it will be free to all to use. It’s a blend of email, chat and SMS. It is not designed to replace your old email account, only to augment. Everyone on Facebook will get a address based on your user name. So, if you have not done so already, go register your user name today.

This new evolution of messaging will allow the user and end recipient to communicate by whatever medium is convenient for them and the conversation would take place in real time. This way you don’t have to remember who likes blackberry messenger over IM, you will just type their name and message. The program is modeled more closely to chat vs. email. For instance, there is no cc, bcc etc. It is meant to be quick and instant.

Mark Zuckerberg said that he feels “e-mail has past its prime in the age of texts and instant messages.” He further said, “the company doesn’t believe e-mail is going to be a modern messaging system.” (Per Yahoo! News)

The notion that people are moving towards favor of shorter, more immediate chats is relevant. Research shows that younger people rely on text messaging vs. face-to-face contact, e-mail and phone calls. (According to the 2009 survey conducted by Pew Internet and American Life Project) And, this trend will only increase over time.

So, as much as I wish we had more options, Facebook has the leading edge in the market. Don’t get me wrong, I do love Twitter. However, with 7 out of 10 messages not every being seen by your followers, it is time consuming to pursue marketing efforts via this medium. Not to say, it’s not worth it, because your followers are extremely invested and have chosen to be part of your world. However, Facebook is a captive audience that now, with this tool, will be directly messaged all at once and guaranteeing sight of your message immediately.

Stay tuned….this could be the beginning of Web 3.0.


  1. Given my work I will be watching this development closely to see what value it may provide to the folks I work with - but, as a personal tool I don't see myself using it now or ever.

    This feels a lot like AOL messenger to me. It is fine - will be useful for some - but, I won't be sending any business communications to folks giving me an email address.

    Facebook can call it what they want but this is really just a play to grab more personal data from more folks. Personally, I am not interested.

  2. Hey Sean, Sorry for the late reply. Totally agreed. I want to see how and what it will do for my clients, not sure I will use it personally. Looking forward to seeing what Mark has up his sleeves for this tool.

    As always, your comments are most welcomed!