Even though social media has been getting all the attention lately, email is still the preferred mode of Internet communication according to a recent survey by Ipsos. The private research firm polled 19,216 adults in 24 countries and determined that 85% of them used the Internet for email, while 62% used it for social media.
Keren Gottfried, a research manager at Ipsos, says that she expected email usage to be significantly more than social media. She says, “If you think about it, the Internet was first used for sending letters online. It shouldn’t be surprising that we’re using a digital version of sending a letter. But the fact that a majority of people are using [the Internet] for social networking is a paradigm shift; there’s no equivalent in the offline world.”
Hungary scored high in email usage with 94%, while countries like Indonesia, Argentina and Russia have high social media usage at 83%, 73% and 75% respectively. Saudia Arabia was low in both forms of Internet communication and the U.S. scored just around the average at 61% social media usage.
Both Google and Facebook have attempted to revamp email for the next generation. Google pulled the plug on Google Wave in August 2011 after the project failed to emerge. Facebook launched a modern messaging system in November 2010 that targets younger consumers who prefer Facebook and texting to traditional email.
This survey stresses the importance of Internet marketers to not only focus on social media marketing, but also continue email marketing efforts that will drive traffic to a client’s website by targeting its existing customer base.
What do you think? Will social media eventually take over as the primary method of Internet communication?