Gartner: Social networking slowly taking over email

Predicts that 20 per cent of business users will use social networks as their primary means of business communications by 2014

If you find yourself using [Facebook] to send out work-related emails to coworkers, you're not alone.

According to a new report issued by Gartner, 20 per cent of business users will use [social networks] as their primary means of business communications by 2014. Gartner says it expects e-mail clients from [Microsoft] and IBM will soon start integrating with social networking sites, giving users access to their e-mails, contacts and calendars from their favorite social networking platform.

What's more, Gartner claims that contact lists, calendars and messaging clients on [smartphones] will all be capable of connecting with social networking platforms by 2012.

"The rigid distinction between e-mail and social networks will erode," Gartner analyst, Monica Basso, said. "Email will take on my social attributes… while social networks will develop richer email capabilities."

Gartner also predicts that more of these social network-enabled e-mail clients will move away from on-premises networks and into the cloud. By the end of 2010, Gartner projects that 10 per cent of corporate e-mail accounts will be in the cloud, up from 7% in 2009.

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