Email remains one of the most popular of online services. Companies such as Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft have offered free online email since the earliest days of the internet. Google was late the party, launching Gmail in April 2004. Where as Google has come to dominate many of the verticals it enters, email hasn’t been one of them. This Christmas many more people will be using Yahoo! Mail to send Christmas well wishes than will be using Gmail.
Statistically this is where tracking online email popularity becomes difficult. This year Microsoft has launched Windows Live Hotmail with users logging in via its various “Live” properties, making it difficult to place exactly how many users were logging in and using Live and Hotmail email addresses. In April comScore placed Hotmail at 47 million unique visitors. No figures were available from comScore on Live.com traffic (which includes search and related traffic as well) or Windows Live Mail, although sites such as Live.fr hit 154,000 uniques in November and Live.de did 1.39 million. AOL remains a fairly popular choice for email as well, with comScore reporting 42.3 million uniques in April.
There are still no shortage of Gmail fans out there, but at its current growth rate Google wont be catching Yahoo! Mail until 2010. Yahoo showed 3.21% growth for the 12 months to November 2007 compared with Gmail’s 53.60%