The Google empire is growing. After launching the group’s email service Gmail four years ago, it is now the fourth most popular email service on the internet.
The service grew by 43% in 2008 according to comScore, putting it behind online Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail and Windows Live Hotmail. But the growth rate puts it ahead of its competitors, with Yahoo Mail growing by only 11% and Hotmail declining by 5% to just 43.5 million users.
Currently, Gmail boasts 29.6 million users, but still lags behind Yahoo at 91.9 million and AOL at 46.6 million.
Many web analysts suggest the reason for the service’s growth is the increased rate at which Google develops new applications. These have included instant messaging through the email’s portal, advanced search capabilities and customisable themes.