That is the stark finding of a new study by The Relevancy Group, which predicts nearly half of online consumers will switch to Facebook Messages. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Facebook had more than 600 million active accounts.
Facebook’s message privacy controls allow consumers to have complete control over who can get into their inbox, which creates new implications for marketers and other ISPs alike. At the time it was announced some predicted that Facebook Messages could be a “Gmail killer”, although if the study proves correct it will also wreak havoc with Hotmail and Yahoo email accounts.
Hotmail remains the Web’s most popular free email service with 360 million users, but during the last decade it lost momentum to Google’s Gmail in terms of new features and popularity.
The research, “The Social Inbox: The Impact of Facebook Messages on Email Marketing”, quizzed over 1,000 consumers.
Relevancy Group chief executive David Daniels, among the most influential experts in email marketing, said: “Persistent consumer switching behaviour and increases expected to be driven by Facebook Messages will have an impact in the number of dormant email accounts, requiring marketers to exert more effort in understanding subscriber engagement and reactivating subscribers.”
“As consumers begin to spend more time on Facebook and in Facebook Messages, they will be less attentive to their other email accounts,” added Daniels. “The survey data indicates staggering implications for Gmail and Yahoo. Even if users maintain a separate account for their marketing messages and they move to @Facebook for personal communication only, they will be spending less time in their traditional email account, even if they don’t abandon it.”
The full report is available at www.relevancygroup.com/thesocialinbox.htm
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