Facebook, Twitter and other social media are more used than e-mail, surveys suggest

March 16, 2009 By Scott Kleinberg

Here's today's big news in fewer than 140 characters: Social networking is now more popular than e-mail.

That's the official word from a new round of Nielsen research, which shows "" such as and have overtaken personal e-mail to become the fourth-most-popular way people spend time online (after search, portals and software applications).

While there are plenty of facts and figures to back up the claim, it seems a little like old news. As fast as e-mail is, it's just not immediate enough. Seeing a message pop into an inbox just doesn't compare to receiving a tweet on Twitter or even a comment on Facebook.

And is good for you. It forces you to get to the point. We don't read e-mail, we scan it. Why unleash a 1,000-word diatribe when you can sum it up in 140 characters?

And what would a Nigerian scam be without e-mail? "My father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant in Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast before he was poisoned to death ..." just wouldn't have the same impact posted on a Facebook wall.

E-mail is still king at the office, but we're all embracing social media and other forms of communication. Sometimes, we still actually talk to each other!


(c) 2009, Chicago Tribune.
Visit the Chicago Tribune on the Internet at www.chicagotribune.com/
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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