The Death of Email

Google+ = The Death of Email

Lots of people have been talking about how Google+ is going to be the death of Facebook. Frankly, I doubtthat. I do however think that it’s a killer. From my perspective, Google+ is going to be the death of email.

I, and many others, have been talking about the death of email for a while now. It may sound silly, but twenty years ago the idea that snail mail would virtually disappearas a means of personal communication was also ridiculous. Email has become such an essential part of modern life that the idea of itdisappearing sounds impossible…until you think about it.

First of all…let’s look at snailmail. When’s the last time you wrote a letter to someone whom you have an email address for? Do you write letters to people that you see on a daily or even weekly basis? Do you write letters to people you talk to on the phone? Unless you are utterly romantic or old fashioned the answer is most likely no. Who was it (before email and cellphones) that you were most likely to send or receive a letter from? Family, friends, and people you want to maintain a connection with.

Fair enough. Email made it much easier to maintain those connections whether it was through old fashioned letter writing (one on one), group emails, yahoo or google groups, subscribing to blogs, or just having a way to ‘poke’ someone and let them know you are around.

Along came Facebook. Take all the people from your email lists, dump them into a big box together, and now you can poke, message, or even chat with people easily (as long as they are online). Since even the grandparents and technophobe cousins eventually gave in (except for that one guy who still insists on writing letters – I hope you have at least one friend like that!) Still, email remained a more elegant way to communicate,especially for one on one or (lets face it) for anything that youdidn’t want to be owned or sold by Facebook (because Facebook has always been circumspect in regards to privacy).

Now comes Google+. You already most likely use Gmail. Instead of everyone being in one big box together you have circles of people so that you can actually use it to send personal messages without the clunkiness of Facebook. Groups are easy to set up or join and don’t require any kind of registration process.Add in group hangouts and huddles and suddenly, there goes email.What? Really?

Yes. Do you email people you see everyday? Even if you do, it’s much easier to do so from Google+ than from email and guess what? They don’t even have to be a member ofGoogle+ to receive your updates or messages.

Let’s consider my email inboxes for a moment. Here is what they typically consist of:
1) Email from friends and family who aren’t on Facebook (very very few of these)
2) Email from clients or potential clients (as G+ goes more mainstream these will move to G+)
3) Email updates from blogs I subscribeto or groups I belong to (including professional associations)
4) Bills, payments, and invoices
5) Spam

Updates and groups will certainly moveto G+. Bills, invoices and payments are also moving towards things like Google checkout or mobile solutions. And that leaves one thing(which is already the largest contributor to my email inbox): Spam.

Yup. Death to spam. Long live Google+.