Is Email on the Outs with Today's Youth?

By Cindy Waxer February 08, 2011

Will email head the way of the post office? That’s a distinct possibility according to the findings of a recent comScore study. The comScore 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review, an annual report on the prevailing digital trends of the past year and their implications for the future, reveals that total web email usage dropped 8 percent in the past year, with an eye-popping 59 percent decline in use among people between the ages of 12-17.

Usage also dipped 1 percent among 18-24 year olds, 18 percent among 25-35 year olds, 8 percent among 35-44 year olds and 12 percent among the 45-54 demographic.

As for today’s baby boomers, usage rates actually increased – a 22 percent increase among 55-64 year olds and 28 percnet among those 65 and older. 

So why all this email attrition? According to the comScore study, today’s teens are spending more time on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. In fact, social networking usage climbed 3.8 percent to 14 percent of all time spent online.

In the meantime, reports that Facebook is making the mobile market a top priority this year. That’s according to the company's chief technology officer Bret Taylor who noted plans to improve the experience of its mobile users at January’s Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco. Taylor said that more than 200 million people regularly access Facebook through their mobile device, and that this group of users is nearly twice as active as those who check their page using a desktop computer, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Taylor noted that it has created a bit of a fragmented user experience because Facebook has so many different mobile platforms -- each of which offers a specially designed look and feel. Taylor said that when Facebook adds a new feature, the company needs to update seven different mobile platforms, including Android, iOS and

“It’s an incredible challenge,” Taylor said. “And there’s feature-skew."

So, Facebook's plan for 2011 is to rework its mobile platforms so that they all offer a similar user experience. To help with this transition, Facebook will look to HTML5.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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