A survey conducted last month by independent research firm Ipsos found that 85 percent of people with Internet access in 24 countries send and receive email. In some countries, the figure was above 90 percent, and only one country, Saudi Arabia, had less than a majority. About 62 percent of total people surveyed use social media, which seems to be most popular in Indonesia, where 82 percent of people use it.
“It wasn’t overly surprising that a majority are using email,” says Keren Gottfried, a research manager at Ipsos. “One-way communications—mail or writing letters to each other—have been around since the carrier pigeon. Why would that be overtaken by technology that’s under 10 years old?”
Even so, Gottfried says it’s rather astonishing to see that such a large number of Internet users employing a method of communicating as new as social media. She says Ipsos will continue to track the figures—this is the first time the firm has measured them—to see how they change over the coming years. She says she suspects the amount of people who use email won’t decline even if social media users increase, though the amount of time people spend emailing may change.