Scott echoes a point I made just a few days ago in my predictions post… email is the ultimate social network but the lack of contact granularity makes it problematic as a social network. I also think that just trying to mimic Facebook feeds through an email UI introduces more problems than benefits. By way of background on this, here’s an interesting post that goes into some detail about what is happening to Gmail.
Not everyone I get email from or send to is a “friend”.
I don’t want more email to inform me of what my email friends are doing.
Email is one-to-one or one-to-many, does making it many-to-many break it?
Google has been quietly rolling out social features across all of its services based on Gmail contacts. While Google still has to overcome some of its social tone-deafness (e.g. automatically adding contacts without asking), this move makes perfect sense. For people over 30 (and probably even over 25) email IS the social graph.