Social media may be getting all the buzz, but email is still a more popular mode of Internet communication, according to a new survey.
Private research firm Ipsos polled 19,216 adults in 24 countries last month and found 85% of them used the Internet for email while 62% used it for social networking. Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos, says she expected email use to trump that of social media.
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"If you think about it, the Internet was first used for sending letters online. It shouldn't be surprising that we're using a digital version of sending a letter," she says. "But the fact that a majority of people are using [the Internet] for social networking is a paradigm shift; there's no equivalent in the offline world."
How people use the Internet varies from country to country. In Hungary, 94% go online to use email while only 46% do so in Saudi Arabia. In Indonesia, 83% of people use the Internet for social networking (defined in the study as visiting social networking sites, forums or blogs.) Social media use is also high in Argentina (76%), Russia (75%) and South Africa (73%). It's low in Japan (35%) and Saudi Arabia (42%). The U.S. figure for social media use was right around the average: 61%.
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Aside from email and social networking, another primary use of the Internet is for Voice-Over-IP. Overall, VOIP is used by 14% of people across the globe and trends high in Russia (36%), Turkey (32%) and India (25%). VOIP use is lowest in Brazil (4%), France (5%) and the U.S. (6%).
The primacy of email over social networking comes as Facebook and Google have both attempted to remake email for a new generation. Google's bid was Google Wave, which the company billed as the next evolution of email in 2009. By August 2011, Google had announced it was pulling the plug on the project after adoption didn't materialize.
Facebook, meanwhile, launched a "modern messaging system" in November 2010 that was designed to replace email for younger consumers who preferred SMS and Facebook to traditional email.
This story originally published on Mashable here.
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