The mobile email era is underway, according to a recent study from ComScore.
ComScore looked comprehensively at the changing behaviors surrounding email. According to the study, in November 2010, the number of visitors to web-based email sites declined six percent. During the same time period, the number of users accessing email via their mobile devices grew by 36 percent.
The disparity shows the clear evolution of digital communication and the rising importance of mobile.
Digital communication has evolved rapidly in the last few years with an ever-increasing number of ways for Internet users to communicate with one another. From PCs to mobile devices, whether its email, social media, IM or texting, consumers have many ways to communicate and can do so at any time and in any place, Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile, said in a statement.
Donovan attributes the decline in web-based email as a byproduct of shifting dynamics and the increasing availability of on-demand communication options. In total during the November 2010 observational period, overall time spent in the web-based email category declined 9 percent and page viewed dropped 15 percent. The sharpest decline was with young users, aged 12-17, whereas older people aged 55 and older actually increased in usage.
In terms of mobile, comScore found 43.5 million users turned to their mobile devices on a nearly daily basis for their email communication needs. The increasing usage of mobile devices was replicated across all age segments.
What we have seen in the smartphone era is the rapid acceleration of data consumption, which has helped drive mobile usage across multiple categories including email. In a relatively short period of time, adoption of mobile email has reached 78 percent of the smartphone population, which is very similar to the penetration of web-based email among Internet users, Donovan said.