What would you do to improve email?
Email turns forty this year which makes it at least as old as Black Sabbath, Tina Fey, Andre Agassi, the floppy disk and the Post-it-Note but its reign as our mainstay of office communication could be over if Mark Zuckerberg gets his way.
At a press conference in San Francisco last night, the fresh faced Facebook CEO announced the launch of the company’s new messaging platform that while specifically described as “not email” evidently seeks to eradicate the need for it anyway.
Taking inspiration from the communication habits of high school students, Zuckerberg said “that if done well” the planned instantaneous application that will integrate mobile phone texts, chats, e-mail and the existing Facebook messages, “could be the way of the future”.
Well, at least for the younger generation; News.com.au reports that while email remains the primary communication device for adults, text messaging has surpassed email, phone calls and face to face contact among US teens.
Whether Facebook “not email” takes off in the professional environment remains to be seen but in the off-chance their new platform provides inspiration for a total re-work of coventional email as we know it, then a few tweaks spring to mind.
My wish list would include several prompts that pop up on your screen before actually sending an email to double-check that you’re sending the email to the correct person.
A more sophisticated out of office tool that allows you to set the date on your return to work in advance (so you don’t forget) and avoid receiving even more emails from people on your return telling you that it’s still on.
And a fresh take on email history and contact lists so you don’t have to scroll through all your sent folders to remember the address of someone you’ve only ever emailed once and a quick read email history so you could easily see what you said to the person last time.
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