Opinion: Facebook to Replace Personal Email?

Facebook home page“Facebook me.”

Thus, Facebook becomes a verb, joining the ranks of ‘Hoover’ and ‘Sky-Plus.’ The brand name becomes the verb associated with its use. Do you search for  something online or do you Google it?

The newest one would seem to Facebook, although it has two meanings: “I Facebooked you” used to mean that someone added you as a Facebook friend. Lately, it’s more likely they sent you a private message though Facebook.

This one could be the breakthrough that Facebook is seeking. Not since AOL (remember them?) owned instant messaging for a while has any one brand owned a  type of communication. Not even Hotmail or Gmail have supplanted the generic email.

It’s just possbile that Facebook could displace email for personal use. Why?

  • Millions of new Facebook users are coming online every month – with more than 750 million, it’s approaching critical mass.
  • Large numbers of those are coming to the Internet using mobile devices – without conventional email clients, which, let’s face it, are a pain in the neck even on a regular PC. Most of us just don’t want the hassle. I can’t think of a platform that doesn’t have a consistent Facebook client or app.
  • Facebook is completely permission based with no address book required – your friends are already there.
  • There’s no spam (yet) and any unsolicited messages can be blocked easily.

Most importantly Facebook has the saturation coverage among both youngsters and the silver surfers who are getting used to the Facebook environment as a one-stop shop for communications. Facebook may yet have a double-entry in the urban dictionary. AJS

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