Mark Zuckerberg continues to deny that their most recent announcement, Facebook Messaging (Fmail maybe will catch on?), is not a Gmail killer. And for the most part we here at BIGfish agree, mainly because as of November 2010 there are just under 200 million Gmail users and we do not expect many, if any, to start notifying everyone of an email change to @facebook.com. This will not only look fairly unprofessional, but many people have had their email addresses for many years, and have no reason to change.
So Gmail is safe from Facebook Messaging? Not so fast. While no one who is currently using Gmail, or Yahoo for that matter, will switch to using Facebook messaging as anything more than a novelty, current users are not the only target. There is a large portion of the population that does not yet have email, or even Facebook for that matter.
Reasons why younger generations will use Facbook Messaging over Gmail
- Once this group becomes 13, and signs up for Facebook, the social networking site will become MUCH more important to them then email ever could be.
- While engaged hours a day on Facebook, when it comes time to start using email, Facebook Messaging will be the simplest choice.
- They will never have to leave Facebook to use their email, which will be a major convenience.
- Until reaching college, teenagers do not use email to network, contact coworkers, or apply for jobs. They use it to sign up for newsletters and keep in touch with friends and family. The friends and family they want to keep in touch with are already their contacts on Facebook, so why would they want to go off site and have to use a different set of contact information
- Having a Facebook email means having to list one less contact (Facebook) on email signatures, other sites, and business cards because the email already links to it
As long as Facebook continues to push forward as the juggernaut it has become, its new messaging system may still become the Gmail killer Zuckerberg claims it isn’t. The decline of Gmail may take a few generations, but it is likely that the the number of signups for Gmail will begin to decline in the next 5-10 years drastically.
One way Google could prevent the decline in Gmail signups is to focus more attention on Google Profiles. As of now they are fairly useless, but if Google could make creating a profile a necessity for branding yourself and preventing identity fraud, it could capture more of the market share of the younger generation who will know the importance of certifying your identity in search results.
Do you see other ways Google could do this? Or do you not agree with this? Let us know below.