Table of Contents

Reforming the Postal Sector in the Face of Electronic Competition

Reforming the Postal Sector in the Face of Electronic Competition

Advances in Regulatory Economics series

Edited by Michael A. Crew and Paul R. Kleindorfer

In our increasingly technology-focused world, demand for traditional postal services is steadily shrinking. This timely volume examines the many challenges that the worldwide postal sector is facing as a result of growing electronic competition, and offers expert recommendations for reshaping postal structures to strengthen their competitiveness in an electronic age.

Chapter 27: Social media challenges the entire postal industry

Kari Elkelä and Heikki Nikali

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics


Internet penetration has rapidly increased across the developed world. Internet household penetration was 71 percent in the EU in 2011 (Eurostat, 2012). In Finland, 89 percent of all Finns and 99 percent of 16–50-year-olds use the Internet today, and in addition 60 percent of these use it several times a day (Statistics Finland, 2011). This means that the Internet has become an absolutely necessary channel in daily searches for information, news follow-up and communication. This has resulted in declining mail volumes in many countries and a trend towards letters and advertising becoming increasingly digitalized. In addition there is an increasing tendency for newspapers and magazines to be read in digital formats. Consequentially, at the same time, postal organizations providing traditional paper-based communication services will be faced with financial problems. The most significant feature in today’s media is increasing globalization. This kind of new media is rarely under the control of a single owner and when the media compete with one another, new dynamics and media convergences will develop. Tools such as Facebook and Twitter have brought people closer together and created new online communities. Within these social media communities, members create and share content that connects group members to one another. Social media users also filter information, whereby influential individuals can direct the attention of the members of the community to specific news, advertisements, goods and services.

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