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Help The Past, Present & Future of Email [INFOGRAPHIC]
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Our reliance on social media, instant messaging, texting and especially email is growing at a rapid rate, according to a new study.

Microsoft commissioned independent market research firm MarketTools to survey 1,268 professionals and students over the age of 18 to find out about their email and online communication habits. “We wanted to have an independent observation of how people were using the different communication tools at their disposal,” Microsoft Group Product Manager Paco Contreras told Mashable.

The survey found that a whopping 96% of respondents said their email load either increased (45%) or stayed the same (51%) over the last year. Ninety percent said that social media communication has increased (28%) or stayed the same (65%). The same is true for text messaging: 28% said texting has increased for them in the past year, while 65% said they have been texting at the same level over the past year.

Thirty-seven percent of MarketTools’ respondents said that they now spend half their day reading or replying to work email. While we aren’t surprised by that number, we were a bit stunned to learn that 55% believe spending time in work email increases their productivity. These people said that they prefer email communication especially when they want to send messages to multiple people at once (74%), want to have a written record of a conversation (73%) or have detailed information such as a document (65%).

As part of the study, Microsoft also released a rather lengthy infographic depicting the evolution of email since its introduction in 1965 (yes, email is nearly 50 years old). While the infographic is a little Microsoft and Outlook-heavy, it does provide a decent glimpse into the historical milestones of email, including the introduction of IBM Lotus Notes (1989), the introduction of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (1982) and even the release of You’ve Got Mail in box offices worldwide.

How have your email habits changed over the past decade? What’s next for email? Check out the graphs and infographic and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Graphs: Email Usage



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