According to the Wall Street Journal article Will Social Networks Make Email Sexy Again, more people are ditching traditional email accounts for social networking email. Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Time Warner Inc.’s AOL unit are adding features that allow users to perform such sociable functions as tracking friends and creating personal-profile pages for others to see. Social networks like Facebook and MySpace have upgraded their messaging services, enabling individuals to send emails to the outside world from their accounts, transmit video greetings to friends and make voice calls from their computers.
In August, there were 542.9 million users of email that is accessed primarily via Web browsers. That compared with 483.7 million social-networking users world-wide, according to comScore Inc. Including non-Web-based email such as accounts that businesses provide to their workers, there will be 1.4 billion email accounts in active use world-wide at the end of this year, estimates Radicati Group Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif., research firm.
Such changing habits could have implications for marketing automation as these social networking sites have functionality not available for traditional email accounts. For example individuals create profile pages, communicate with friends and share photos and other digital content.