Is Facebook The New Email?

A few years ago, the demise of email was crystal clear to a lot of social media experts. “It’s clunky and awkward,” they said. “Besides, everyone is on Facebook and Twitter now – who would ever bother with email in the future?”

This talk percolated in certain circles for a while. Some people looking at social media from the outside – marketers who had been around for a while and had learned from some of their past experiences said, “Yes, everyone has Facebook now – but they need email to sign up for Facebook! And when those kids get out of university, they’ll use email to apply for jobs and to communicate with those that they work with.”

Now, the social circle is abuzz again. “Facebook is dead!” ¬†They say – “The young people are all on Instagram and Snapchat now. Nobody wants to use Facebook anymore – it’s clunky and fought with privacy concerns.”

Now, I’m in the group of experienced marketers. I remember those other conversations. I’ve seen this before. Yes, many of today’s young people are on Snapchat right now. Yes, they have embraced Instagram and yes, many of them don’t seem as active on Facebook anymore.

But they are still there. They are just more internet savvy than teens from 10 years ago. They’re posting those embarrassing photos on Snapchat – where they will supposedly disappear in a day – instead of on their Facebook page. You know, the page that they talk to Grandma on. The same page that their moms and dads monitor. The same page they’ll use in 10 years to connect with their old high school friends, to share pictures of their kids, and to laugh about the latest meme on.

Facebook will someday go away – just like the BBS sites (remember Trade Wars?) have mostly gone away. But it won’t be because of Snapchat, and it probably won’t be because of Google +. Until then, don’t worry about marketing on Facebook. My experiences show that it is still alive and well.

We’ve been here before folks. Don’t drink the Kool-aid.


  1. At the risk of missing your point, I’ll say it: I love email. Always have. It’s searchable, easily filterable, everyone has an address, there’s endless storage for it, and because I signed up for Google Apps for business before they started charging for it, I have all kinds of free features that surround it. Email has one thing going for it that social site don’t: It wasn’t invented to make money off us.

  2. That’s a valid point. I’m also a big fan of email marketing. In a lot of ways, especially today with such a diverse social scene, email has an almost personal feel if its done well.

    Thanks for commenting!

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