Users of Gmail will know what an indispensable service it can be and its operators will be pleased to know that a huge chunk of newcomers think so too, after its user base grew by 25 per cent so far this year.

The Google email service saw its unique users jump to 37 million in July, sliding past the 36.4 million of AOL Email to put it in third place on the webmail charts.

Advertising dollar

By contrast, AOL has dropped by 22 per cent so far this year, allowing Gmail to usurp it in the heavily trafficked – and therefore valuable to advertisers – webmail stakes.

The data from analytics specialist comScore show Hotmail just ahead of Gmail on 47 million unique users, with market leader Yahoo Mail out of sight on 106 million.

Yahoo growing too

If it's any indication of likely future progress, by the way, Hotmail has picked up 8 per cent more traffic this year and Yahoo grew by 16 per cent.

Via TechCrunch