Is Email Dead? Numbers Say Otherwise

Paul Lilly

The declaration that email is dead has been made on more than one occasion, and not just by random citizens with a WordPress account. If we're calling out names, we'll point to a Wall Street Journal article in 2009 that said services like Twitter and Facebook are rewriting the way we communicate online. John C. Dvorak gave us 9 reasons why email is dead, everything from spam to competition from social networking and IM services, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg tried to write email's obituary last year, with Mark Zuckerberg recently signing up to be a pall bearer. Hit the jump to find out why they're all wrong.

"We dont' think that a modern messaging system is going to be email," Zuckerberg said at a press conference where he unveiled (wait for it...) Facebook's new email-based messaging service.

It's easy to get hypnotized by what the pundits are saying. After all, email's an ancient service that's been around since the beginning of the Web, and rarely do technologies and services live that long in cyberspace. And with social networking as big as it is, maybe there's not enough room for email, right? Not so fast.

Web monitoring firm Pingdom shared some telling numbers on Tuesday, ones that show how important online email services are for tech heavyweights like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. Let's look at Google's traffic, as reported by Pingdom and pulled from Alexa:

  1. 66.32 percent
  2. 23.33 percent
  3. 1.45 percent
  4. 1.37 percent
  5. 0.96 percent

Now let's take a peek at

  1. 50.34 percent
  2. 39.12 percent
  3. 4.99 percent
  4. 1.14 percent
  5. 0.80 percent

Notice a trend? A look at one last set of numbers, this time from Yahoo:

  1. 19.93 percent
  2. 16.97 percent
  3. 8.61 percent
  4. 6.76 percent
  5. 5.35 percent

As Pingdom points out, "the actual percentages aren't really all that important here. What's important to note is that the subdomains used for webmail have a ranking near or at the top for all three companies. Imagine the hit to their Web presence if they didn't have these webmail services."

Pingdom goes on to throw out more numbers, like how many millions of users each service claims, but the point has already been made. Clearly we, as Internet users, still depend on email, more than some seem to realize, and certainly more than Facebook would like to admit. At least that's what the numbers say.

What about you? Do you think email is dead or dying?

Iamge Credit: neboweb

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