Social networks overtake web mail

November 7, 2007

For the first time the new darlings of the web (social networks) have overtaken the old darling (web based email) in the traffic stakes. Hitwise have a report showing the upward trend for the social networks and the rate at which they have caught up the likes of Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo Mail.

So, are users now using social networks instead of email? Well yes they are , naturally, they are a quick way to converse with close friends especially to groups of friends. And they’re more fun to use, something email providers will have to address (OpenSocial and Gmail perhaps?). However, email still has it’s place and the demographic data from Hitwise shows that unsurprisingly it’s the younger users who visit social networks more.

One factor we should also consider is that email is something that you visit a few times a day maybe (unless the web is your life) where as users tend to browse social networks for long periods so the traffic is bound to be higher.

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