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Consumers enjoy expressing love, flirty via email – Microsoft MSN poll

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This year’s Valentine’s Day falls on an unromantic Monday, so many loved up Nigerians will be spicing up their day at work with saucy emails to their other half, as suggested by an international poll from Microsoft Hotmail released today.

Research poll done on MSN by Microsoft released today,* 14 Feb 2011, suggests that many consumers are comfortable with expressing love and flirty feelings via email.

The research, which polled more than 10,000 consumers in 14 countries in Europe and Israel, showed that approximately half (48 percent) exchange amorous emails with their significant others to keep their relationships fresh and exciting. More surprisingly, almost a fifth of respondents (19 percent) revealed they have told someone they love them for the first time in an email and 9 percent have even proposed via email.

Some consumers are also using email to show passion: 18 percent of respondents indicated that they exchange romantic or suggestive images of one another and a fifth of people have shared romantic fantasies with their partner over email.

A sizeable group of consumer respondents said they were using email to get up to mischief: almost half of respondents (47 percent) admit they have sent or received romantic or saucy emails to/from someone who is not their current partner and 16 percent of those surveyed have caught their partner sending suggestive or saucy emails to someone else.

“It’s interesting to note that whereas email was regarded as a somewhat impersonal means of communication, compared to the phone or the hand-written letter, a great number of people are using email to share profound and intimate feelings,” noted Ngozi Ife Anene, PR and Communications Lead, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa. “With the new Hotmail, sending files of almost any size isn’t an issue, so incorporating personal photos and videos can add a special touch to the romantic emails you send on Valentine’s Day, or whenever you want to express your feelings in a special way.”

“Valentine’s Day is an important time for people to express their feelings towards one another and more and more they’re turning to email and social media as a channel to do so,” says Emeka Aginam of  Vanguard newspapers, adding that with Valentine’s Day falling on a Monday this year, email networks around the world will be carrying a flurry of cupid’s romantic declarations!“

Love in the Workplace

For those who are single, ‘e-romance’ in the workplace this Monday is likely to be rife, with more than a fifth (21 percent) of people saying they’ve flirted via email with co-workers. And of those people using email for romantic reasons, there are some who are too caught up in passion to exercise common sense: 17 percent have used their work email accounts to send romantic sentiments, and eight percent have been caught sending love emails while at work.

Interesting Outliners

Of the countries taking part in the poll, some statistics stood out:

68 percent in Israel have disclosed their secret crush to a work colleague via email, versus 21 percent average across participating countries

More than half of the respondents in Belgium (55 percent), Denmark (59 percent), Estonia (75 per cent), Italy (55 per cent) and Russia (54 percent) confess to having sent/received romantic/saucy messages to someone other than their partners

Across the Pan – European region most respondents (84 percent) have never found their partners cheating on them via email — however, 34 percent in Russia have caught their partners sending suggestive/saucy emails to someone else

Overall, 16 percent of respondents in Romania have been caught sending suggestive/saucy emails at work versus only 8 percent on average for other participating countries

Real romance is alive: 75 percent of respondents in Spain say they save all the romantic emails sent to them from their partners, compared to 51 percent of all respondents across the region

Communicating With Your Loved Ones Online

Based on user feedback, Windows Live Hotmail has recently enhanced its service to make it easier to stay in touch and share with those who matter most. Here are some of Windows Live Hotmail’s new features that can help you send a ‘hot’ mail on Valentine’s Day:

Quick View: Immediately see if you have new email from friends or loved ones, and see social network updates or reminders about appointments or birthdays at a glance. See all the emails that contain photos across your entire account, including your inbox, folders and POP aggregated email accounts, with one click. You can see all of your documents, videos, shipping updates or mails you’ve flagged.

1-Click Filters: Don’t miss an important Valentine’s Day message! With a single click, filter the emails you’re currently viewing to show only those that are unread, from specified contacts, or from social networks such as Facebook. No setup required! While reading an email from someone, you can also check other emails received in the past from the same sender.

Conversation View this February 14: We know how having a conversation with someone — or several people — on email over an extended period can leave pieces of that conversation haphazardly spread throughout the inbox. The new Hotmail gives users the option of bringing all of those snippets together so you can view the entire conversation in one place.

Alias feature gives you greater intimacy: The new alias feature enables users to create multiple email addresses mapping to a single account, with the option to turn off the alias address at any time – making it simple to create a private address only to be shared with loved ones.

Put all your Valentines into a Single Contact List: The new Hotmail’s address book integrates all your contacts from Hotmail, Messenger and from other networks, such as Facebook and MySpace, so you have all of your contacts in one convenient place.

Active Views: The new Hotmail saves you time by cutting down on the need to leave your inbox: partner websites integrate content and functionality of their sites right into the emails you receive. For example, if an email contains a link to YouTube, you can view the video right in Hotmail.

Send Up to 10 GB of Photos per Message: Send virtually all the romantic photos you want to without having to worry about clogging your inbox, or the recipient’s. Hotmail works with Windows Live SkyDrive, your free online storage space from Windows Live, so you can send, via link, up to 200 photos, each up to 50 MB in size (10 GB total), in a single message.

Send Valentine’s Day Messages via IM and SMS to your Messenger Friends and Loved Ones: With the new Hotmail, you can see who’s online, and can easily communicate from Windows Live Messenger, or even send an SMS message to your lover’s phone if he or she is offline — all without leaving your inbox.

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