AOL was found to have the least web savvy users and this is not surprising because historically it has been the choice for new internet users with its self contained web and email client, Joanna Lumley voiceover, free telephone support and more AOL installation CDs than anyone will ever need.
Microsoft was the next one up, any newbie who didn’t go with AOL would use what Windows provided them so that was Hotmail and now they also have MSN and Live domains.
Before Gmail, Yahoo was the choice of the more web savvy and people who knew what they were doing – out of the big 3. Yahoo has a far more open email service, allowing you to plug into any dedicated email client, where as Microsoft would only allow you to plug into Microsoft clients.
Gmail usage grew organically using invites from staff inside Google, so all of the early adopters were very web savvy. The invites then bled into Universities’ IT courses and then other courses using each users’ invites. This made most Gmail users pretty web savvy in comparison to the other big 3 email providers.
The fact that Gmail recently crept into 3rd place of the biggest inbox providers, above AOL, was a statement that people are getting more and more savvy and they want intelligence from their inboxes along with more protection from unwanted email.
Users of Facebook have a wide range of internet experience and seeing as some people will be on Facebook more than anything else on their computers it may be an easy shift for many of them. They may be more likely to move from their own ISP’s email service, eg: Virginmedia and Sky etc. in UK more than any of the established inboxes.
I predict that Gmail will lose the least users to Facebook and AOL & Hotmail will lose the most out of the big 4.
Myspace got themselves into the inbox field a few years ago and I didn’t even notice but I think I’ll notice Facebook email.
Much like the online Gmail inbox, people will be able to do more within their Facebook world and Facebook will be able to find out more about their users, have more pages to advertise on and get better and more accurate ads. Couple this with the possibilities of a Facebook search engine and Microsoft on-line office integration, it’a all getting a big Googly!
Who do you think would lose the most users? – vote here.