I got a tweet this morning from @JesseNewhart, retweeting a blog post about how Gmail only makes up 5% of email client usage.
What I was surprised to see when i clicked, however, was the list of email clients included in the study:
Outlook? I don’t understand how this study can compare Outlook to Gmail. The purposes for usage are completely different. I use both, but I don’t have a choice as to whether to use Outlook or another client for work. Do you? My company is so enterprise-oriented that I couldn’t even get half the co-workers in my department to use Google Calendar instead of Sharepoint to input vacation time in a central location (one co-worker even commented that she couldn’t use it because she doesn’t have a Gmail account).
I, for one, would love to view long back-and-forth discussions in Gmail’s ‘conversation’ style, rather than digging through each email with the same subject line to find the one I need to respond to. Additionally, I can’t imagine that Gmail has more than 1% marketshare in the business world, and it’s probably more likely among small businesses and start-ups. I just don’t think that the two can be equally compared.
And, honestly, this doesn’t tell me much. I’m actually much more interested in how Gmail compares among web-based email clients whose primary function is not to serve large businesses (Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, and ISP-based email addresses: Comcast, Roadrunner, Earthlink, etc.). Gmail should have a larger share there.
Most everyone I know these days use Gmail, with a few Yahoos scattered in there. And as MRod commented to me earlier in the week, we really don’t know too many people who use Hotmail anymore. Sure, I am one of the “geeks and early adopters” this article refers to… after all, Gmail started with users only being able to create accounts if a friend who already had Gmail sent them an invitation. So it’s no surprise that Gmail is definitely more popular within my “demographic” — 25-35, urban-dwelling, web-savvy. We all use numerous Google products, not just Gmail. But I don’t necessarily think anyone who uses Yahoo or Hotmail thinks it’s “cooler” than others, or that they choose it because they love it. They just “have used it for ages,” as the writer says, and don’t want to change their email address or “lose” their old emails, 99% of which they probably never access anyway. Google has mastered the ability to reach people who are open to new and innovative products. Now they just need to show the change-resistant that Gmail is as easy to use as Google search.
Remember the co-worker I referenced above who said she doesn’t have a Gmail account? In the same email she said “I’m still using Yahoo”.