Gmail Officially Overtakes Hotmail and Yahoo Mail, but Only Because They Lost Users

Gmail's the biggest, but Google's numbers are still much bigger than the third-party ones

By on November 1st, 2012 10:50 GMT

The battle for email may seem unfashionable, but webmail clients still attract huge number of users. The three big providers, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, are battling it out and have been doing so for years.

Google is the upstart, if you can call it that, and though it's taken almost a decade, Gmail is slowly climbing up the ranks.

It is now officially the world's biggest email provider, based on data other than from Google itself.

ComScore, who looks at desktop usage only, now shows that Gmail has overtaken Microsoft's Hotmail to become the biggest email service.

The data for October shows Gmail with 287.9 million unique visitors. Hotmail only managed to get 286.2 million, a small gap but enough for Gmail to dethrone it.

It's unclear whether outlook.com numbers were added, Microsoft recently unveiled the new domain and enabled Hotmail and Windows Live Mail users to "upgrade" to the new domain and app.

In the meantime, Yahoo Mail keeps on slipping, it's down to just 281.7 million at this point. These are all worldwide numbers.

Yahoo is still in the lead in the US with 76.7 million, compared to Gmail's 69.1 million and Hotmail's 35.5 million.

Google had already crowned itself the biggest back in summer when it said it had 425 million users.

But comScore numbers at the time showed that it had significantly fewer than that and, what's more, that it was still behind both Hotmail and Yahoo Mail.

Since then, all leading email providers lost users, but Gmail the least. Hotmail went from 325 million users in May, Yahoo Mail had 298 million and Gmail 289 million at the time.

Hotmail and Yahoo Mail lost the most users, leading to the situation we have now where Gmail is finally and officially the biggest.

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