Email Is A Push Technology

Email is delivered to the recipient so they don’t have to work to get it — they just open their Inbox and there it is.

Technologies are sometimes labeled push or pull as described below:

  • Pull. These technologies require the user to actively go and retrieve the information. A library, the Web, and the Usenet newsgroups are pull technologies, requiring active participation of a human being to retrieve the information.
  • Push. These technologies deliver information to the user so all they have to do is receive it. Radio, television, and email are push technologies.

One of the reasons email has been such a big success is because it is a push technology. The person that sends the email writes it, then POP3 and SMTP transmit it, and all the recipient has to do is open his email program and double-click on the email to read it.

An advantage of push technologies is their ease of use — they require a minimum of effort on the part of the recipient, which greatly supports adoption because they get used more often. Partly because of this feature, the use of email has greatly outstripped all other Internet applications since its creation, even after the explosive development of the Web.