Feature

E-mail: No longer king?

Will Facebook and Twitter replace e-mail as our preferred form of communication?

"E-mail has had a good run as king of communications," said Jessica E. Vascellaro in The Wall Street Journal. "But its reign is over." E-mail was suited for the way we used to use the Internet—logging on and off. But now we're always connected, whether we're at a desk or on a mobile phone, so a "new generation of services" such as Twitter and Facebook are taking over. As e-mail did, they'll "profoundly rewrite the way we communicate—in ways we can only begin to imagine."

People "might someday send résumés or other important documents over Facebook and Twitter," said Jason Chen in Gizmodo, "but e-mail is never going to be 'dead.'" For one thing, e-mail is as instant as any social network if you push it on your phone. And if people are still using fax machines —FAX MACHINES!—they  certainly won't be abandoning e-mail any time in the foreseeable future.

E-mail definitely isn't "cutting it the way that it used to," said MG Siegler in TechCrunch. "It’s a sedentary beast in a fast-moving web." But even though we're not just logging on and off the Internet like we once did, nobody wants "always-on communication." That's why Google Wave's blend of active and passive communication could catch on—it let's you chat in real time, or "sit back and let messages come to you."

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