New Delhi: Gmail, the webmail service offered by Google Inc., has ended the 10-year reign of Yahoo Mail as India’s most popular email service.
According to ViziSense, an Internet user measurement agency that tracks India’s top websites on a monthly basis, the number of unique users of Yahoo Mail dropped from 18.2 million in August to 16.8 million in September.
Gmail gained ground from 17.7 million users to 18.2 million users in the same period, surpassing its rival by 1.4 million unique users. The ranking is directly linked to the popularity of the Google search engine. Google had 74% reach among India’s 47 million online population, compared with Yahoo’s 58% in August, according to ViziSense.
“The popularity of Google over the past few years has created a brand which today extends beyond just search and it is this brand that has helped strengthen Gmail’s usage,” said Prashant Mehta, chief operating officer of Komli Media Pvt. Ltd, an Internet ad agency that owns ViziSense.
Google says features tailored to the needs of Indian users gave it an edge. “The launch of Gmail in eight Indian languages was a positive step in this direction,” said Vinay Goel, head of products, Google India. Yahoo declined to comment on the ranking.
Sanjay Tiwari, director of online research company JuxtConsult Pvt. Ltd, says Yahoo’s lowered usage may partly be a result of the company’s strategy to narrow its focus to a few key areas such as music and social media and to make its website less cluttered.
“For the past few years, Yahoo has consolidated services on the Web and this is a conscious effort which may affect current usage but will strengthen the brand in the long term,” Tiwari said.