Google grows, AOL slows, and Yahoo maintains a wide lead in monthly unique e-mail users over its competitors. Microsoft's Windows Live Hotmail ranked second, followed by Google's Gmail and AOL's e-mail service.
Google's free e-mail service, Google Mail-or Gmail, as it is commonly known-surpassed
AOL as the No. 3 most visited e-mail Website
in the month of July, according to research firm comScore. Gmail, first
released in April 2004, logged 37 million unique monthly users in July,
compared with AOL's 36.4 million.
Google's AOL leapfrog represents a 46
percent increase in growth from the same period last year, when Gmail logged
25.3 million visits. Yahoo Mail, growing 22 percent from the same time last
year, bested all competitors, more than doubling Gmail users with 106.1 million
unique monthly visitors.
Compared with July 2008, AOL's e-mail
service slid 19 percent to 36.4 million unique monthly users in July 2009, down
from 45.1 million during the same period last year, another troubling sign for
the beleaguered Internet service company. Microsoft's Windows Live Hotmail grew
to 47.1 million monthly users, up 3 percent from the 45.8 million comScore
tracked in July 2008. Windows Live Hotmail is currently the second most-used
e-mail service in the United States.
Farther down the list, Comcast's WebMail ranked fifth, sliding 5 percent to
nearly 8 million monthly users, compared with 8.3 million during the same
period last year. AIM Mail and AT&T
WebMail, placed sixth and seventh, respectively, both saw large drops in their
communities, with AIM Mail falling 22
percent to 5.8 million monthly users and AT&T WebMail dropping 39 percent
to 2.7 million users. Verizon, RoadRunner and Incredimail.com rounded out the
top 10 e-mail providers, with the last, Incredimail, posting a 48 percent drop
in unique monthly visitors compared with July 2008.
Google posted the largest growth compared with July 2008, increasing its
audience by 46 percent. Gmail moved out of beta status just this summer, along
with the rest of the Google Apps suite. As the company creeps up on Hotmail
(Yahoo is still comfortably ahead in users), Google is stepping up marketing
efforts to entice the business community to use Gmail. Google has been touting
institutions like Northeastern University,
which moved its HuskyMail application to Gmail, and the University
of Virginia, which has contracted
with Google to provide lifetime e-mail for all alumni.
Microsoft and Yahoo are also working on upgrades and
features for their e-mail clients: In July, Microsoft upgraded its Quick Add
feature in Hotmail with a host of features lifted from its Bing search engine
platform, while Yahoo is tinkering with the look and feel of its Mail Accounts