While trying to prove the firm’s theory that consumption of social media decreases email use, researchers at The Nielsen Company discovered the opposite was true. After analyzing data to test their hypothesis, Nielsen found that social media use makes people consume email more, particularly for the highest social media users.
“Intuitively this makes some sense,” said Jon Gibs, VP of Media Analytics at Nielsen. “Social media sites like Facebook send messages to your inbox every time someone comments on your posting or something you’ve participated in, and depending on your settings, can send updates on almost every activity.” In addition to these reasons, Gibs added that people make connections through social media, and it is only logical that they would maintain those connections outside of the specific platform and may extend those connections to email.
The simple experiment opened the door to new ideas for research. Nielsen plans to analyze the correlations between platforms to understand if the relationship is different across specific demographics and behavioral groups—rather than by levels of consumption.