The shift is more about the advances in technology and less about the way we use email to communicate. Web-based email has always been about ease of access. If you’re only using Outlook then your work emails stay at work and home emails stay home. Forwarding emails from one computer to another was the only way to gather all of the information in one place and if you were traveling the you were stuck.
With the invention of web-based email programs, email became portable and centralized. Everything in one place and you can access it from home, the office, at your mom’s house or at the beach if you’ve got a laptop and WiFi. Of course, web-based email addresses have also been used as email dumping grounds, a “throw away” email address you can use to access websites and signup for things without fear of being deluged with spam.
According to comScore’s stats, the number of people visiting a web-based email site went down 6% over last year. Not a huge number, but look at the other side. Mobile email usage grew by 36% over last year.
Age plays a huge factor in the web vs mobile saga (surprise, surprise), with a 53% decline in web-mail usage in the 12-17 age group. Frankly, I’m surprised that age group is even using email, but maybe they won’t be in the near future if things continue in this matter. The only uptick in web-based email usage was the 55 and older groups with all other age groups coming in with declines of 14% to 18%.
Conversely, mobile email usage increased all across the board with the 25-34 age group being 60% more likely to use mobile email than web-based email. Male users edged out the women by 14%.
Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile said:
“What we have seen in the smartphone era is the rapid acceleration of data consumption, which has helped drive mobile usage across multiple categories including email. In a relatively short period of time, adoption of mobile email has reached 78 percent of the smartphone population, which is very similar to the penetration of web-based email among Internet users. These findings demonstrate just how quickly channel shifts can occur and why it’s now essential for media brands to have a strong presence in both arenas.”
You can read the full report right here.