Gmail is officially out of beta and it’s enjoying being all grown up, thank you very much. Maybe it just needed to have its training wheels taken off so it could really get moving but we all know that the beta label was just that; a label. Since its introduction over 6 years ago Gmail has been growing steadily and as TechCrunch reports it has moved past AOL’s email service to be the third largest email service in the US.
comScore has given this title to Gmail based on unique visitors to the service and it has just passed the AOL service with 37 million unique visitors in July while AOL had 36.4 million visitors. As if AOL doesn’t already have enough trouble with just being AOL this kind of news is not what they need to hear. It doesn’t appear as if this is going to be a close race either since the two services are headed in very different directions.
….so far this year, Gmail’s unique visitors grew 25 percent, while AOL’s declined 22 percent. Thus, the two crossed paths in July. (Hotmail grew only 8 percent during the same period, while Yahoo Mail increased unique visitors by a healthy 16 percent).
Honestly, every time I see someone using an AOL e-mail address (particularly in a professional situation) I have a brief moment of “They still have an email service?” quickly followed by “Do you still pay for that?” (AOL does have a free version of its email service). I was a bit surprised that Gmail hadn’t moved past them a long time ago.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that you need a Gmail account to use any of the other myriad of services that Google offers (please don’t tell the folks over at the European Commission because there may be some trouble with that one considering it makes sense and creates more business for Google). It also doesn’t hurt that the storage limits on Gmail accounts are quite generous.
Are you a Gmail user? Do you use the other services? Any preference?