While talking to a teenager about smartphones the other day, I was explaining her, how to choose the right smartphone to use with her email account, when she told me "Younger people rarely use email, it is just full of spam, we prefer to text or use facebook, as a way of communication".
Well, if we consider that these teenager are going to grow up, and the world is going to belong to them, and if they do not use email. Well, email is going to die soon.
Faxes are anyway dead, or at least almost dead, we now use scanners and emails. But, for this to happen social networks and other options, need first to fix a couple of things.
- You can't message from facebook to identi.ca and assure the other side have seen his message
- Texting do not sync between devices, so if you loose your phone you loose your messages.
- You can not (at least no in an easy way) backup your facebook messages.
- Enterprise market is not going to rely on Facebook or Twitter or others their communications.
So, if these and other problems are not solved, email is not going to die any time soon. And as soon as these teenagers grow up, they will be forced to use emails in theirs companies, and if they are the owners, they will force others to use it, in a way to have a secure communication method, reliable and standard.
By the way, even twitter and Facebook send you email when you get @mentions, or messages, and you can updated your facebook status via email. Ah! and now you can also have an @facebook email address.
So, the answer is not, email is not dying, it will surely die someday, but I think it will evolve rather than just die and be replaced.