In this week’s post I give a concise overview about Twitter and E-Mails and what their main functions, audience, benefits and disadvantages are. I chose these two online communication mediums, because they have a similar focus on written messages, but are distinctly different in their purpose.
The first E-Mail was sent in 1971 by a computer engineer called Ray Tomlinson and he changed the way we communicate strongly (Campbell, n.d.). The more people had home internet access and used the World Wide Web since the early 1990s, the more common E-Mail communication became (Beuth & Kühl, 2014).
Today, E-Mail communication is a vital part in business environments and also a tool for individual users around the world. Even though, social media is also strongly used for communication, especially in business communication the E-Mail remains important. For example, one benefit is the immediate communication between the sender and the receiver. The tobacco industry is making use of E-Mails as a tool to reach their target group via digital marketing (source). Companies can directly reach their prioritized segment of their target group with information, such as promotion of contests or relating to website content (Brock, Carlson, Moilanen, & Schillo, 2016).
The social network service Twitter was founded in 2006, so it came up significantly later than the first E-Mail. The major difference between these two online communication tools is that any Twitter message is limited to 140 characters, which is why it is referred to as “the SMS of the Internet” (Alexa.com, 2016). As a consequence, users have to reduce their message to its’ essence and keep it short. In 2015, about 66% of U.S. companies were using Twitter for marketing purposes and even 86% of U.S. charities and non-profit organisations did so in 2014 (Smith, 2016).