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article imageGmail could surpass Hotmail by the end of the year

By Kesavan Unnikrishnan     Feb 8, 2009 in Technology
Google's Gmail could catch up Hotmail by the end of 2009, if the current trends continue. Gmail's number of unique monthly visitors in the United States grew 43%, while Hotmail lost 5% of its unique monthly visitors during the last one year.
Latest statistics published by ComScore indicate that Gmail is growing at a much faster pace than two of it's bigger rivals.- Microsoft's hotmail and Yahoo Mail. As of December 2008, Gmail had a total of 29.6 million unique monthly visitors while hotmail had 43.5 million unique visitors. One year ago, the numbers stood at 20.8 million and 45.7 million respectively.
The studies say Yahoo continues to be way ahead of it's rivals as of now. It had a total of 91.9 million unique monthly visitors in December 2008. Yahoo also recorded a decent growth rate of 11% over the last one year. But if the current growth rates continue , Gmail can surpass Yahoo by 2011.
Google was a late entrant to the web mail space compared to it's rivals. Till last year, a Gmail account was only available for those with an invitation from an existing user. It saw an explosive growth in the number of users after the service was madeavailable to anybody in the middle of 2007.
Google has been massively increasing the feature set of Gmail by adding new features through Gmail Labs opened in June last year. Last year saw the introduction of services like emoticons for messages, Gmail for mobile version 2.0, canned responses, contact manager improvements, advanced IMAP controls, and Mail Goggles,offline access etc. Last week a new service called latitude was announced allowing Gmail users to share their locations through Google maps.
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