Facebook Messages and the Future of Email Marketing

By now you’ve probably heard about the big announcement coming out of Facebook.

If not, there’s a short video about it on the Facebook blog here:

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=452288242130&id=20531316728.

The basic breakdown is that Facebook is making “messaging” easier. What Facebook makes clear is that this will not replace email. They simply make email, sms, chat, and messages all connect in one place, all sent by simply typing and pressing “enter.” They’ve reduced the complexity and made it so that sending messages is more like a conversation and less like email.

Does it kill email? No

Does it change the way we interact with email? Yes

The most immediate impact is around inbox management. Facebook, like Google, is also filtering it’s inbox so that certain messages go to specified locations. This is the next step in inbox communications. Google has priority and facebook calls it social, but either way, it means that things are changing.

An “in-depth” review over at insidefacebook shows that a lot of the screen shots and UI of facebook messages are very similar to gmail – http://www.insidefacebook.com/2010/11/16/in-depth-review-facebooks-new-message-inbox-product/

Also, it expands on how this might not have any immediate impact, but it does make one point that could be huge for advertisers in the future: “Having a centralized, persistent record of the distributed  conversation will also make Messages useful for organizing groups, perhaps better than Facebook’s Groups product which doesn’t encompass SMS or record Group Chat.”

Over at emarketingandcommerce.com, there are some early predictions that you can digest – http://www.emarketingandcommerce.com/article/what-facebook-messages-means-for-email-marketers/

For now, all we can do is wait to hear more and remain in the middle. Don’t look on in horror as you watch the world as you’ve known it change forever, or remain complacent while you recite old adages like “the only thing to fear is fear itself.”

Like slabs of thinly sliced meat to Lady Gaga, we’re on it. Be on the look out for more posts on the impact of prioritization on email, and even more importantly expect to hear about it from our success team.


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