the perception that Gmail is trouncing AOL mail simply isn’t true. Yahoo’s mail service is the king of the hill, towering over everyone else.
AOL’s e-mail seems to be a big and engaging service that is holding its own with users. Gmail, by contrast, is growing in the number of users, but is far behind the other big Web mail providers in how often users check their mail and how much time they spend on the site. That would imply that it is Gmail, far more than AOL, that is being used as the supplemental throwaway e-mail address.
For those interested in the details, here are the numbers...
Yahoo dominates e-mail with 88.4 million users in the United States in August, according to comScore. That is far more than Microsoft’s Windows Live Hotmail at 45.2 million and AOL at 44.8 million, not to mention Gmail at 26.0 million.
When you look at how much time people spend reading their e-mail, Yahoo mail users spend the most time (286 minutes a month), Gmail users the least (82 minutes), with AOL and Microsoft in the middle (229 and 204 minutes, respectively). When it comes to how many times users (defined as those who visited the site at least once in August) checked their e-mail, Google again was at the bottom, with 13.6 visits a month. Yahoo had the most loyal users, visiting 18.8 times that month, followed closely by AOL and then Microsoft.
It’s also illuminating to look how many total minutes were spent reading e-mail on each of the services. An astounding 25 billion minutes were spent on Yahoo mail in August. People spent 10 billion minutes on AOL mail, 9 billion on Microsoft’s mail, and 2 billion on Gmail.