Gmail and the geek set

I’ve noticed lately how many of my friends and colleagues have adopted Gmail addresses. Although Gmail is still a very distant 4th place (after Yahoo!, MSN and AOL) when it comes to the broad Internet audience, it seems to have taken off among the geek set.

I took a look at my LinkedIn contacts. Here are the sources of email addresses among my professional contacts:

  • Employer – 40%
  • Gmail – 15%
  • Yahoo! – 12%
  • AOL – 12%*
  • Vanity (custom domain name) – 8%
  • School alumni association – 4%
  • ISP – 2%
  • Hotmail – 2%

Some things I found interesting in the data:

  • Most people (60%) don’t use their employer’s email address on LinkedIn.
  • Gmail has developed a following, despite having come to the email game much later than the others. This share most likely came at the expense of other providers; it’s unlikely that this group just adopted email when Gmail came out.
  • Hotmail, which was once synonymous with Web mail, is no longer cool.
  • My contacts know better than to tie their email address to their ISP.

Of course, this is all based on a sample of 1.

* Because AOL does not distinguish between employee and non-employee email addresses, I divided the AOL addresses into two groups: those that still work at AOL were counted as employer, the others were counted as AOL. All of the contacts counted as AOL are ex-AOLers who converted their business account.


About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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1 Response to Gmail and the geek set

  1. Doris says:

    I have Gmail, but I use it mostly to archive work-related messages. I rarely give out the address.

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