Given the recent rise in popularity of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, with quick, short messages between users like those popularized by SMS messages, some believe that e-mail may be dying out. After all, it’s so much easier to type in a person’s name, write out whatever it is off your chest and hit “Send”. You don’t have to worry if the email address is correct or up-to-date, and you can be pretty much guaranteed that they will have seen it, even if you don’t get a reply straight away.
It’s pretty surprising to say, but even today, 12% of the American and 39% of the European population still don’t have access to the Internet, according to the latest penetration figures for 2011. As those users, and the kids growing up today, come online, it would seem that they’ll adopt to using social networks by default, skipping email entirely and hastening its demise. But I believe that e-mail certainly isn’t dying out – in fact it’s more popular than ever.
Today Google announced they’re pulling the plug on Google Wave, a real-time communication app some viewed as the next generation “email” service. Google won’t be shutting it down completely but will cease further development “as a standalone product”.
Announced May 27, 2009, Google Wave built quite a wave of hype (excuse the pun) through its public launch nearly a year later, May 19, 2010. The technology clearly had incredible potential and techies were steaming with excitement over its possibilities, yet here we are, witnessing its death.
Could Google Wave have been saved? Better yet, could it still be saved?