At the rate social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are building out their platforms, and the rate at which the platforms are being adopted, it seems just a matter of time until standalone e-mail inboxes are a dying dinosaur on the digital grasslands.
On Monday, Facebook took a step toward that evolution by launching the next generation of the message service on its platform. The company will be rolling out a service that allows users to integrate texts, e-mails and regular Facebook messages into one inbox on Facebook. The inbox will be available on any PC or mobile device, much like the Facebook platform already is.
Facebook users will be offered an @facebook.com email address, and the new message inbox will allow users to filter and prioritize messages.
Much like the PC did away typewriters, an e-mail-like service on a social media platform like Facebook could potentially undermine the prevalence of e-mail services like Google' Gmail, Microsoft's Hotmail and Yahoo Mail.
If all of Facebook's 500 million-plus users want to get their messages through the platform, so be it. The Google's and the Microsoft's of the world know social media is the future, and this puts pressure on them to build out social aspects of their technology and services
The way I see it I can ditch my work e-mail address in a few months and force my editors and bosses to get in touch with me through Facebook, for better or worse.