Thursday, 5 February 2009

Google develops Gmail to grow market share

Reuters reports on the growth of Gmail as one of the leading online email systems, through gradual and low key enhancements over the years. When first launched, Gmail had to start taking market share from the established Hotmail and YahooMail services, and has done so through the introduction of new features and services developed in the Gmail 'Labs'.

Google makes money from Gmail through the ads listed to the right of all mail 'conversations'. These ads are part of the Google AdWords content network and generate revenue every time the email user clicks on an advert and therefore Gmail has become one of Google's main areas of development to grow Internet usage share, alongside the original search tool and YouTube.

According to comScore, unique visitors to Google's sites increased 32 percent worldwide to more than 775 million in 2008. In contrast, Yahoo had a 16 percent gain to 562.6 million visitors and Microsoft had a 20 percent increase to about 647 million visitors.

As an example of the new features added to Gmail, the article highlights 'Mail Googles' which aims to prevent the user sending a regrettable message if they are drunk - of course, as long as they remember to use this feature! This month Google introduced a feature that automatically downloads mail to a web browser so that messages can be read offline. Other recent features include an alert for users who forget to upload promised attachments and one that lets users send free SMS messages to friends via Gchat (currently only available in the US).

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