Why email is not going away

Unless you’ve lived in a cave without Internet access, you will have stumbled upon the term “email killer” more than once. It seems new apps have become tired with trying to be the “next Facebook killer”, they have now moved onto their next target.

Email has been around for almost 50 years now and is the most popular activity on the Internet. Social media promised to kill email, but there is still three times more email accounts than Facebook and Twitter combined. Even Slack’s founder Stewart Butterfield admits that his app, as successful as it is, is not going to replace email altogether. Here’s why he is right.


Have you tried to create an account on any online service without an email address? It’s almost impossible. The paradox is that even the self-proclaimed email-killer apps require an email address to create an account. As long as we haven’t found a proper replacement to avoid fake and spammy account creations, email still has some pretty good days ahead.


One of the biggest advantage of email compared to most messaging apps is its asynchronicity. One doesn’t need to be online at the same time as recipients to take part in a conversation. Even after being offline for weeks or months, the messages will still be there. It’s true that email threads can sometimes be hard to manage, but one email usually replaces 20 to 30 chat exchanges. It also doesn’t have the social pressure to instantly reply as much as real-time conversation.


No matter if you use a computer, a smartphone, a tablet or even a smartwatch, email is always one of the first apps available. Don’t have an app? You just need Internet access and it’s all here. You can even read your email on pretty much any e-reader you want to!


You might have a dozen messaging apps on your devices, but chances are, if you want to send a message to someone you are not close to, you will use email. It is the lowest common denominator when it comes to messaging. It’s free, doesn’t require any setup and it just works.

It is possible we might see the end of internal email in the workplace, to be replaced with Slack or similar apps, but the true email killer has not been invented yet. Even if there was a replacement, it would take years or even decades to make email useless. Just think about how many services still use snail mail for their communication.Whether you like it or not, email is not going away anytime soon.

Source: http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/12/5991005/slack-is-killing-email-yes-really

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