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Rapleaf Looks At Age, Gender Of Email Users

Young men stick with Hotmail, ladies like Gmail

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It’s often interesting to learn about a product or service’s users – particularly when you are one.  Maybe you’ll find that your stylish small car is popular with old ladies, for example.  Or that your taste in TV shows mirrors that of eight-year-old boys.  Anyway, Rapleaf recently took a look at this concept as it applies to email.

Rapleaf sampled 120,000 people who deal with a major email provider (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, or AOL Mail).  It turns out that, in terms of popularity, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail may be ahead with minors.  Gmail does quite well with young adults.

Then, in the next two age brackets, Hotmail regains the lead, and AOL and Yahoo establish a near-tie.  Finally, as you might have suspected, AOL does indeed rule where older people are concerned.

Rapleaf found fewer differences when it sliced the data according to gender; there’s a pretty even split between male and female AOL and Yahoo users.  Still, it discovered that noticeably more women use Gmail, and men definitely have a fondness for Hotmail.

Rapleaf’s supposed to release more data about the social network memberships and friend counts of these email users in the future.  In the meantime, a hat tip goes to Sarah Perez.

Rapleaf Looks At Age, Gender Of Email Users


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  • Guest

    Looking at the bar chart, at first glance the variation between providers looks like it would be inside the margin of error. In other words no significant difference. Where are the stats?

  • Guest

    The way the chart is presented makes one think that each email service is being compared within the age brackets. The data of the chart however tells me that each email is simply divided into the user age and these bars are grouped by age, not provider. This means that these comparisons are only valid if they had the exact same sample from each provider.

    I would personally rather see a chart that told me the brakedown of 19-25 users.

  • Guest

    As I can see this graph shows people distribution by age for each of these four providers, but there is no data grouped by provider; so it shows four user profiles, one profile for each email service. From these data there is no way to assert “in terms of popularity, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail may be ahead with minors”, because data is grouped by age but not by provider.

    • Guest

      I agree.

      You can perform a survey and take a random sample of users of any email service and determine the breakdown of users of that service by age. For example, of the people surveyed that use Hotmail, 30% are 19-25 years old. You can perform this survey for four different email services and come up with different results for each email service. The problem is the explanation needs to clearly define that this survey is in no way a comparision of total numbers of users by email services but a sampling of age groups by one email service as compared to other email services.

      An example of using this survey:

      If you received a random email from someone that uses Hotmail and one from someone else that uses AOL, there is a 32% chance the person that sent you the email from Hotmail would be 26 to 35 years old and only a 25% chance that the email you received from AOL would be from someone 26 to 35 years old.; however, this in no way means that more people ages 26-35 use Hotmail than AOL.

      Instead of

      “in terms of popularity, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail may be ahead with minors”

      maybe it should read

      “a greater percentage of Hotmail and Yahoo users are minors”

  • Guest

    But no data, which reduces the information value to almost zero.
    All we can really “learn” from the chart is that most email users sampled are between 19 and 35.
    Breaking eBusiness news? Puh-leez.
    Just one more piece of info-trash to add to the heap.

  • Gloops

    This is a nice graphic.

    Nevertheless, except if I missed it, nothing has been said about why these four providers have been chosen for the study, amongst the dozens that exist.

    Perhaps it would have been interesting to know what it tells of us, if we chose one of these four, rather than another one ?

  • Guest

    The axis label says “Percent of emails”, so in combination with all the factors the rest of you mentioned, this isn’t telling us the distribution of users. It is telling us who sends the most number of e-mail messages. So overall all we know is 19-35 age sends the most messages.

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