Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Email or SMS, Which Will Fall First? Will They?

With Facebook's launch of Facebook Messaging I find myself wondering what the next communication tool will be. Not just a re-envision, but a full fledged new way to communicate. Facebook Messaging (Beluga), Kik, Disco, GroupMe, etc. are all different plays on instant messaging and SMS organized intuitively across many platforms.

Do you consider a service built over, and using, an older service a new service? No; at least I don't. In a way you could end up making things more complex. People may just gravitate back to the underlying (simpler) technology, even if it means having more separate services to use.

That is not to say you can't innovate on, and make, current communication channels more streamlined, simpler, and interconnected. That is the current trend we see today.

Lets look back on the major widely adopted ways to communicate to gain a better perspective:

What do each of these have in common? They are each in use today! It is hard to come up with a new way to communicate, and even harder to eradicate one. Email and SMS will be around for generations to come. They will fall, SMS first, but it will take a long time.

For now I do hope a company comes up with a service that seamlessly merges Email, SMS, and IM that is transparent to the end user. To work it needs to be headed by a non-profit using public protocols that gains massive adoption.

Then again, it may just be easier to come up with a brand new way to communicate.