Sunday, January 23, 2011

Users Turning to Mobile Devices for E-mail

The way that we check our e-mail is evolving. Well, how do you check it? If you have a smartphone, it is very likely that you are beginning to turn to utilizing your phone to check and send e-mails. I mean, if you have access to your messages on your phone, isn’t it a lot more convenient to simply check your phone instead of finding a laptop to check your e-mail?

According to comScore, an Internet traffic analytics firm, numbers are showing that e-mail usage is definitely beginning to move from computers to mobile devices. ComScore cited its November results from two of its services, Media Matrix and MobileLens. The results showed that the total unique visitors to e-mail Web sites like Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and Gmail have dropped by 6 percent year over year. As you might expect, the shift has really occurred most drastically among the younger age groups. The results show that with 12 to 17-year-olds, the total amount of minutes spent on Web-based e-mail sites has gone down by a whole 48 percent.

It was also revealed that males were more likely to reduce their Web mail usage than females. Males showed a 19 percent reduction in total page views while females only dropped 11 percent. Overall Web mail page views went down by 15 percent and total minutes spent on those pages from November 2009 to November 2010 dropped by 9 percent.

So what about the other side of things? How much has mobile e-mail usage gone up? Well, according to information provided by comScore, e-mail usage has gone up an entire 36 percent from November 2009 to November 2010. The study stated, “In November 2010, 70.1 million mobile users (30 percent of all mobile subscribers) accessed e-mail on their mobile, an increase of 36 percent from the previous year. Daily usage of e-mail showed an even greater increase growing 40 percent as 43.5 million users turned to their mobile devices on a nearly daily basis for their e-mail communication needs."

The age and gender numbers for increasing mobile e-mail use were very similar to the numbers that were recorded concerning the decline of Webmail usage. The main age concentration in the study was 25 to 34-year olds. This group was 60 percent more likely to access their e-mail on their mobile device than the average mobile user. Concerning gender, females were surprisingly 13 percent less likely to access their e-mail via their mobile device than the average mobile device owner, but males were 14 percent more likely to access it via their smartphone.

Unfortunately, the study simply reports on the general smartphone population. It didn’t break down their numbers by phone brand, which could definitely make a difference. It would really be fascinating to see a breakdown of the differences concerning phone brands.

ComScore's senior vice president of mobile Mark Donovan noted, "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 e-mail. 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 e-mail 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."

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