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comScore: Mobile email is cannibalizing traditional webmail

Posted: , by Scott H.

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comScore: Mobile email is cannibalizing traditional webmail
According to findings published by comScore, traditional webmail finds itself under assault, as native apps on mobile devices continue to gain popularity, especially among younger owners. For those of you over 30 it may seem a bit odd to contemplate “traditional email”, but this shift to native apps actually reverses a trend wherein webmail like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail had largely supplanted desktop email clients such as Outlook. Mobile webmail sites exist, they find themselves underused compared to native apps.

A quick look at the graph shows webmail usage actually going up somewhat among 45-54 year olds, as among those over 65, but gains likely stem from new users being introduced to email for the first time – older users who don’t own smartphones at the same rate as younger owners.

Among 12-24 year olds use of webmail dropped by around 1/3, and comScore believe this is due in large part to the prevalence of smartphones, tablets, and smartphone-quality PMPs such as the iPod touch. Growing up with mobile technology younger users may see accessing email on a mobile device as the norm, and may also be quicker to adapt to typing with touch-screens than generations that grew up with typing classes in their curriculum.

As a result, comScore indicates this trend may be permanent, and might just be the tip of the iceberg, as webmail and other desktop-based email access may continue to shrink in the coming years, with mobile access eventually claiming the lion’s share of email duties.

How many of you are finding yourself turning more and more to mobile devices for email? With our readership, we’re betting it’s quite a few.

comScore: Mobile email is cannibalizing traditional webmail

source: comScore via electronista

6 Comments
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posted on 13 Feb 2012, 13:23 1

1. quakan (Posts: 1156; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


I couldn't tell you the last time I sat down on AOL and checked my email.

posted on 13 Feb 2012, 13:30 1

2. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


i usually only use webmail when i need to type a long email. and i never use it just to check the mail anymore. after all my phone notifies me immediately when i receive an email.

posted on 13 Feb 2012, 14:25

3. McLTE (Posts: 640; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


So is Gmail web mail or mobile email? how is that scored??

I would guarantee that the usage of Gmail has and will continue to increase as Android phones/tablets sell.

I use Gmail about 70% though the native phone app, and the rest through the web app, when I'm at a PC.

posted on 13 Feb 2012, 14:31

4. Scott_H (Posts: 167; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)


If you point your phones browser to gmail.com and log in to their mobile webmail site, it's webmail. If you click on the Gmail app that resides on your phone, it's a native app.

So you're using a native app more than 2:1 relative to webmail.

posted on 13 Feb 2012, 15:02

5. jove39 (Posts: 1261; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


That has to happen one day or another :) Smartphones are limited mostly by their size...but that gap is filled now by tabphones/tablets.

posted on 13 Feb 2012, 15:57

6. greenrolaids (Posts: 47; Member since: 04 Feb 2012)


95% of the time i use my phone for emails.

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