Will instant messaging spell the end for email?

Let’s face it, email needs to die. Email needed to die ten years ago, if not before. Technology has moved on quite a lot since email became a thing in the 1970s but still, we rely on this relic of the past as one of our main forms of communication. Every single day, billions of us wade through a quagmire of unwanted emails to get at a few bits of useful information. It’s all getting a bit tiresome. Thankfully, instant messaging may just be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Instant messaging is the norm

While email has clearly been the dominant form of digital communication over the past couple of decades, the trusty old text message has been there the whole time too. What’s different about the text message is that it has been replicated and enhanced many many times. While the email has simply remained the email, the text message has become the instant message. Instant messages (including SMS) are how we communicate with those closest to us.

Whether you’re making plans with family or just on the banter bus with the lads, instant messaging is where it all goes down these days. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s much closer to how we converse in real life. It’s not that often in conversation that you speak continuously for 500 words before handing over to the next person to speak. At least not in my life.

Businesses are finally getting it

It’s taken a while but businesses are starting to catch on. Where we used to communicate with our teams by email, we’re starting to see that messenger groups (like a private chat room from the old days) and team apps like Slack are beginning to replace the never ending chains of CC’d emails.

Just like email, with most messaging solutions geared toward business, there is an audit trail too. You only need to search the history to see who said what to whom. All it takes is a simple search and you can see everything in context. Beautiful.

Some businesses are even beginning to use instant messaging to communicate with their customers. Many brands give their customers the ability to reach out via their Facebook page and some even have a messenger function built into their website.

Artificial intelligence

Another area where instant messaging has the edge over email is in that of artificial intelligence. We’re beginning to see artificial intelligence chat-bots pop up in messenger applications, meaning we can communicate with online services, our devices and data in the same way we communicate with other human beings.

Goodbye email

With all of the above to contend with, email doesn’t stand a chance. Try to imagine, if you can, a life without email. Imagine if you didn’t have to go through reams of spam, forgotten subscriptions and social media channels begging for attention. Imagine getting back all that time you spend each day just “catching up on emails”.

Well, a boy can dream.