Facebook just made a big move that gets them closer to what they really want, which is to take over as the new email.
This was kept pretty quiet, but it could have long-term, big implications for us all. Facebook has announced that if you use Facebook Messenger, their messaging application, you do not now have to be a member of Facebook. Anybody can have Facebook Messenger, even if they don’t want to be part of the overall Facebook platform.
And this, ladies and gentleman, is another step in what Facebook’s long-term plan, which is to become the de facto communication tool for us all. All over this planet, they want to take over for email.
And maybe it’s going to work. I’ve been getting a lot of Facebook messages from people now that usually would have come via email. Perhaps the same thing is happening to you? Facebook Messenger is also now being used between companies and customers in a customer service context, which didn’t used to be the case.
Email is not going to fully disappear, but it will become compartmentalized and marginalized the way that direct mail is today. Occasionally you get an actual letter in the post box, but typically what you get in your physical mailbox is promotional. It’s catalogs and credit card offers and things of that nature. Email will be the same.
When Email Becomes Only Promotions
There’s lots of research, including great research this year from MarketingSherpa, that shows people actually do want to receive promotions via email. But eventually, if Facebook has their way, all we’re going to have in email is promotions. The day-to-day conversations between ourselves, between us and our clients, between us and our family, between us and our friends, even between us and companies, like, “Where’s my sweater,” could very well be moved over to Facebook Messenger or perhaps WhatsApp, which is a huge opportunity for the Facebook team as well.
The Kids are Showing the Future
This is the beginning of a tectonic shift. Young people have already made this shift. They don’t use email. I’ve got two kids, 17 and 14 nearly, and they never use email, ever, unless they absolutely have to do so. You know what they use email for? Checking confirmations of purchases, and that’s about it. Otherwise it’s all texting, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc. And the same shift will happen to you. Are you ready?
Sprout Social Shoutout
Today’s Sprout Social Shoutout is for my friend Tamsen Webster. Tamsen works at Oratium, which is a company that helps people communicate better. It’s a communications training organization that does some amazing work. They’ve helped me with my “Hug Your Haters” speech that I’m working on right now. Tamsen is a brilliant person, a great speaker, and a good friend. You should be paying attention to her in social media if you’re not already. I hope you are.
This video is from Jay Today is my near-daily 3-minute video where I talk about social media, content marketing, business and life. JayToday is available on Youtube, iTunes (as a video podcast, and now as an audio podcast too), and at JayToday.tv. The show is sponsored by Sprout Social (which I use for my social media), and Candidio (a great video editing service – check out their easy new video templates!).
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