Emerging Technology

Gmail becomes world’s largest webmail service, overtaking Microsoft Hotmail and Yahoo Mail

Andrew Sadauskas /

Google’s Gmail service has overtaken Microsoft Hotmail and Yahoo Mail to become the world’s largest online email service, according to new figures released by the company.

According to the International Business Times, since January the number of users actively using the service per month has grown from 350 million to 425 million.

Assuming Google’s figures are accurate, based on this key measure, Google has overtaken major competitors including Hotmail and Yahoo.

However, according to figures from market research firm ComScore, Gmail continues to have fewer unique visitors (289 million) than either Hotmail (325 million) or Yahoo (298 million).

Initially launched in 2004, Google’s competitors had a significant head start in the webmail market, with Hotmail originally launched in 1996 before being purchased by Microsoft, while Yahoo’s webmail service was launched in 1997.

The news comes after market research firm StatCounter revealed figures showing that Google has also overtaken Microsoft in the web browser market, although Microsoft disputes the methodology of the figures.

Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.