I just ran across this graphic in Dave McClure's Flickr photostream and realized that I never considered what combining HotMail (that name still makes me giggle a bit) and Yahoo! Mail under the same company would mean.

web mail market share

"Web Mail Dominance" kind of jumped to mind.

Granted, I know nothing of the relative growth rates of the services included in that graphic, but even if Gmail does somehow come to rule the world one day, there's going to be a long run of One Really Big Player in the web mail space if the proposed acquisition happens.

Hey, I see that he blogged it too.

Food for thought... or at least a quick mental snack.

Posted by jzawodn at March 19, 2008 12:25 PM

Reader Comments
# Sumit Chachra said:


Unique visitors for web mail means next to nothing. What matters is engagement/time on site/usage stats etc.

I have my Gmail pretty much 10-12 hours a day, people are using it for work email, chatting etc.

Yahoo! and Hotmail just do not have that level of engagement with at least the new users (people who came online in the last 5 years and arn't tied in to their yahoo or hotmail addresses)

Do these stats include Google apps email usage? Thats big too with University students and corporations using it as their primary email interface.

How about the mobile clients (imap or j2me)? Are they being measured?

And as you mentioned, growth rate is everything...

on March 19, 2008 12:50 PM
# Johnf said:

Hi Jeremy,

The other item to take into account is that there isn't really any way to capture how many of those hotmail and yahoo mail accounts are redundant. I have one of each, as well as a gmail account. My hotmail account was my primary personal account for a long time (I opened it pre-MS purchase), but have been migrating more and more to my gmail account.

on March 19, 2008 12:59 PM
# Craig Hughes said:

Those unique visitor numbers are probably HTTP visitors, not POP/IMAP. I would guess that gmail's IMAP numbers help it a bit, though probably not nearly enough to make up the difference.

@johnf: redundant accounts aren't being measured, the graph is allegedly showing visitors, not accounts.

on March 19, 2008 01:22 PM
# Johnf said:

Thanks Craig. I missed that on the graph.

on March 19, 2008 01:27 PM
# /pd said:

you cant be serious that this the value pipline creation .. that is email dominance ??

FWIW, most of the email is on the weaning side. Take a look at the kids, they on msg'ing on FB,myspace and H15, Its easier to get a response from your kid, if use FB/H15 , they hardly read emails..

on March 19, 2008 02:18 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Uh, where'd this talk of "value pipeline creation" come from?

I'm just pointing out something that I found interesting.

on March 19, 2008 02:24 PM
# Micah Sittig said:

In the past (I tried Googling and can't find it) I read an essay about the word "interesting". Basically, the gist was that it's an empty word, and if you find yourself thinking that something is "interesting" you really need to think about it some more and try to find another better adjective: provoking, funny, controversial, perspective-changing, etc.

(I agree with the other posters above that this graph doesn't say much in light of what people know now about the internet.)

on March 19, 2008 07:01 PM
# BillyG said:

I had a Y! account for 4-5 yrs and loved playing Chess because of it, but as soon as these latest talks with M$ proved to have some meat behind them several weeks ago, I dropped my Y! hosting and email account & flickr Pro account. Lord knows I want nothing to do with M$ and their sadistic ways, even if my Gmail account still hangs on me everyday at least 2-3 times!

on March 19, 2008 08:22 PM
# richoncode said:

Dominating user count won't make them a better experience than gmail. Let 'em merge.

on March 19, 2008 09:56 PM
# SmellTheTaint said:

I normally use Rocketmail (Yahoo) for all communications. The mail@firstSecond.com name I list in the email address field of this comment is only for when I want the blog owner to have a name for reference but without it showing in the blog comment itself.

Since Microsoft bid for Yahoo, I've been looking to what I'll do if Microsoft takes over Yahoo.

1. I've moved this name@firstSurname.com over to Google Apps.
2. I've moved the hosting outside the UK (warrantless RIPA searches creep me out).
3. Anything financial has been moved from the Rocketmail address to the name@firstSurname.com address.

My point is if Microsoft takes over Yahoo, I'll be one of the people who simply closes their account and moves on.

on March 20, 2008 02:47 AM
# yangfei said:

verbally demean the perfection of hotmail and yahoo mail is completely not necessary.Gmail is just another turn,over the past decades,its the world of yahoo and msft,this decade, apparently it's google,next decade,it's some great company else.Anyone can appreciate and eulogize gmail(google) because they are fresh,cutting edge and cool,it's his decision.However,when yahoo and msft came out,dare you say that they are not fresh,cutting edge and cool?All of them are so so so so so so perfect,they are just have their certain period.

on March 20, 2008 03:46 AM
# Robert Accettura said:

I think these numbers are generally. UV's don't work for email. Yahoo and HotMail targeted new-users since the late 90's like AOL. The number of people who check their email 1-2x a month is likely pretty high. As opposed to Gmail which has been going after a younger, more tech savvy demographic, and companies.

As far as "dominance" OWA likely beats both of them, but it's broken up by company since it's installed not a service. Not to mention by volume it's likely very high.

on March 20, 2008 06:01 AM
# jeremy said:

Ok, so let's say Yahoo + MSFT gets dominance in web mail. How does that stack up, when compared to the overall world population of email / SMTP?

My point is this: Recently, Google's Eric Schmidt rolled his eyes when asked about Google's dominance of web advertising. Schmidt's response was: Well, that's not really a monopoly, because when you consider it against all of advertising, it is but a very small part.

What Schmidt in effect was saying is that you can't just consider the web; you have to take the larger picture into account.

And yet, perversely, Google at the same time looks at this Yahoo + MSFT possible web mail merger and whines "hey, they have too large of a market share! That will kill innovation." Yahoo + MSFT's response should be the exact same as Google's, when asked about web adverising: Is Web email all of email? No, absolutely not. And when you add up all of email and not just web email, you'll see that there are really no fears of monopoly/dominance.

Know what I am saying? All I ask is a little bit of consistency from Schmidt.

on March 20, 2008 09:02 AM
# BillyG said:

Granted Jeremy, what can I say, Eric is one rich BS'er like the rest of 'em, but I'm just saying I want nothing to do with M$, and if somebody better than Google comes out tonight, I'll be gone tomorrow!

No loyalty whatsoever, but especially to M$, and now Y! (which never did me any favors in the domain hosting department anyway, or the UpComing crew with ignoring my requests from over a year ago for that matter). And now I hear people talking GoDaddy down, B...S..., they've done me great, and that's all that matters.

Don't believe the hype, use AdBlock, and mute commercials!

on March 20, 2008 01:55 PM
# Derek Hammock said:

Thanks for the info.

on April 4, 2008 02:35 PM
# Marketing en Internet said:

Interesting Battle over mail dominance While Google eats the 67% of searches in U.S.

on April 7, 2008 05:21 PM
# jay said:

Dominance is the operative term here. (IMHO) Not only in the mail space but lets not forget the IM space where YIM is vast.

Yesterday in the WSJ, a MS spokeperson is quoted as saying that if Google and Yahoo somehow link up (by some onwership deal that Google has of NewsCorp/AOL) they could potentially grasp as much as 90% of the search space as well. The spokesperson went on to say that this would be unfair dominance of web searching. This is a most interesting comment coming from a company that does NOT see its 95% dominance of the desktop space as any kind of unfair advantage but rather suggests it can offer significant advantages and savings as a result of it. Shouldn't the same logic apply to Mail, IM and Searching?

on April 11, 2008 12:53 PM
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