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Email Everywhere: 25th Anniversary Of Listserv

Thursday, June 23

To join an email list before 1986, users had to wait for someone to painstakingly adjust the code to include them. For Eric Thomas, that was too uncomputerized for a computerized system. So he created Listserv, the first automated email-list-management software. It's still used to send group emails, though a lot more of them — 30 million emails are sent using Listserv each day, a huge leap from 25 years ago, when electronic mail was just taking off.

Infographic: 25th Anniversary of Listserv Popup-Icon

Worldwide email accounts

1989 | 1.8 million
1996 | 100 million
2010 | 3 billion

In 2010, email use by...

Seniors + 28% & -59% Teens

The average businessperson sends 33 emails each day.

89% of all sent emails are spam, the majority of which are pharmaceutical promotions.

In 1985, 90% of all emails were business related. Today, just 8% are business related.

90% | 1985
8% | 2011

In 2010, there were...

107 trillion emails sent
170 billion pieces of mail sent
36 billion photos shared on Facebook
25 billion tweets posted


2004 | 1 million
2010 | 600 million

2004 | 23 million
2010 | 4 million

back to Friday, June 03 >>

A version of this article appeared in the June 2011 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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