I myself am an occasional user of Twitter. I follow both my friends, as well as news feeds and certain businesses. Not only do news feeds and businesses promote their content, updates, and products on their feeds, but the structure of Twitter allows others to re-post the content over their own feeds as well. This naturally makes advertisement easier for businesses, especially as more and more users join these applications.
These types of public communications tools do not sufficiently protect proprietary information, and are unsuitable for day-to-day, internal business communications. Further, they do not permit a sufficient level of corporate control over the business image. They are more vulnerable to hacking, and the short-message format, and lack of ability to include attached files make them unsuitable for business use.
Twitter, Facebook and MySpace emerged as leaders in the social networking scene and they show no chance of slowing down any time soon. At the same time, they are set up to be more complex and personal which does not suit business communication tools.
Email is frequently used y almost everyone, but Twitter is not. Also, email is more useful in the long run, and works differently. It is also more private, and people like that.
Web 2.0 applications are owned by companies, like Twitter and Facebook, and are, therefore, subject to the ups and downs of corporate welfare. MySpace is the perfect example of this. Web 2.0 platforms will come and go. But, regardless of their popularity, none will ever fully supplant the simple act of sending an email.
While Twitter, Facebook, and other communication tools may make up an increasing amount of business communication, they will never fully replace email. Most business communication must still be done in private, so as to not give away company secrets or customer information and, thus, is no place for open spaces or social networks.
Social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, have more public access and less security set in place. Traditional email is private, more secure and looks more professional. I would not want to communicate with a potential client, via Twitter. With email, it's generally more acceptable and has better storage features.
Web 2.0 applications like Twitter will be used for business communications, but they will not unseat e-mail due to e-mail's advantages in several areas. First, e-mail is an open standard that is not tied to any single vendor. A company can get e-mail service from any e-mail provider or even run the system itself. E-mail is also more permanent than some forms of Internet communications, with searchable archives being generated - some Web 2.0 services do this, but others do not. Finally, e-mail is versatile - it can send messages of any length, with any sort of attachment.
Despite the simplicity of 2.0 applications, they will never take the place of email. Email provides a secure service that I believe things like Twitter and Facebook do not. Its difficult to tweet a whole file and add an attachment. Applications such as Twitter and Facebook are there for the general convenience of transferring simple knowledge.
I believe there will still be a need for traditional electronic mail in the workplace. Web 2.0 applications such as Twitter will obviously be used by many people in the business world, but there will still be people who prefer to use traditional electronic mail. I believe the overwhelming popularity of sites such as Twitter and others would be a deterrent to many people. There are probably a lot of people out there like me who prefer the "old-fashioned" way.
When I go to send an email it is for the eyes of the receiver alone. I can encrypt it and have a feeling, even if in fact it is not fully based on reality, that there is some privacy. But when I tweet, it seems that I have no control about who receives the tweets unless I do something that I normally would not do, mess with the settings and suddenly talk with one person instead of the many I normally tweet too. The focus of the twittering is for marketing but there are many things that the twittering cannot do. It is difficult to say much with the character limit and what about the sending of things like photos, large documents, etc. that one does not want people other than the receiver to see? Electronic email has other applications that twitter and other 2.0 devices do not seem to have at present. Therefore, I will say again that electronic email still continues to have its own place in the mix of business communications.
I think that for now, email is a much safer and more reliable way for business communications. Public sites like Facebook and twitter are fine for things like group announcements, open letters, things like that, but business communication sometimes needs to be private. I think the safest way is email, to me it is much more secure, and you can attach any critical information to the email, too.
I don't believe that Twitter or similar websites will ever replace email because they are not designed for the same purposes. Email has advantages like attachments, contact files, privacy and unlimited characters for each message. Twitter is a microblogging site, and has proved very effective as a marketing tool for many successful businesses. Does this mean it should be the only way that a company communicates with the public? I don't believe so. It simply isn't designed to replace something as full-featured as email, in my opinion.