Polls show e-mail popularity waning, Facebook Messages ready to fill in

FB messagesFacebook is still in the process of rolling out its Messages application, but a few recent studies and surveys already bode well for the social network’s new feature. A recent comScore study revealed that Web-based e-mail is losing popularity, declining 8-percent in the past year. Naturally, 12-to-17 year olds were most likely to ditch the archaic communication tool last year, closely followed by 18-to-24 years olds. 25-to-34 year olds also joined in the mutiny, which seems more significant given that many in this bracket have entered the job market and graduated from college.

Facebook profusely claimed its Messages system would not be an “e-mail killer” – it’s looking like it could simply be a replacement. As more and more consumers of various age groups forsake e-mail in favor of other communication devices (instant messages, social media outlets, and texting), there could be an opportunity for a new Web-based “e-mail” platform to succeed. And it’s poised to be Facebook.

According to a recent poll, 22 percent of UK participants will switch to Facebook’s upcoming Messages service. The social network explained it plans to incorporate various communication systems into the messaging client, creating a virtual collection of users’ digital conversations. So what do you get when electronic communication becomes increasingly popular, Facebook (whose user registration reaches staggering numbers) integrates these methods, all while e-mail usage plummets? A sure thing.

Also helpful is the 70 percent of Facebook’s 500 million users currently sending messages on the site. But Facebook was probably right when it said it wasn’t going to be stealing Gmail’s business, it’s just stepping in to claim its wayward users. We’re still waiting for the Messages application to fully hit, but the numbers show the gap is there for it to fill.

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