Fueled by the â€œFeed Me: Bite Size Info for a Hungry Internetâ€ panel at SXSW, several bloggers and reporters have joined a discussion that ponders whether social media, news feeds and lifestreaming are replacing traditional email. “We are all in the process of creating e-mail 2.0,” David Sacks, founder of business social network Yammer said, reported the BBC.
To be sure, social media services like Twitter, Yammer and Facebook are creating new value and interactions. Utility often overlaps and extends beyond email.
But replacing email? That notion is highly misguided. Why? MG Siegler at Venture Beat was on to something when he said “A lot of these services even look a lot like email.” Beyond look and feel, consider this: Every social media service in existence defaults to email. Every single one. Every single social media service I know of relies on email for account creation, basic communication, and to drive engagement, particularly with the most disloyal users — because email is the default.
By definition, social media networks are not replacing email, but rather they are subservient to email. Email is the ultimate social network, and email blows away all others.