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Yahoo Uncovers New Demographics Based on Email Habits

Day Laborers and Emailaholics To Be Targeted?

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Yahoo Research released an interesting report this month characterizing individual communication patterns. The report is based upon a study that looked specifically at what times of the day people regularly communicated through email, and found that demographics can be pulled away from this information.

"The increasing availability of electronic communication data, such as that arising from email exchange, presents social and information scientists with new possibilities for characterizing individual behavior and, by extension, identifying latent structure in human populations," says the abstract for the report.

Yahoo Research Looks at Email Demographics

Technology Review simplifies what is found in the rather complex report:

Small worlds expert Duncan Watts at Yahoo Research in New York City and a few pals studied the time of day at which around 3000 individuals at a European university sent emails over an 83-day period as well as the email habits of over 122,000 e-mailers at a US university over a 2-year period.

They found two distinct types of emailer. They termed the first "day labourers" because they tended to send emails throughout the normal working day between 0900 and 1800 but not at other times. The second group they called "emailaholics" because these people sent emails throughout the waking hours from 0900 to 0100.

It will be interesting to see if Yahoo incorporates such demographics into the targeting of their own marketing offerings. Marketers will always be salivating over new ways to break down potential audiences for more relevant targeting.

The only way to open new opportunities in this regard is through extensive research, and it looks like that is what Yahoo is doing. You can take a look at the full report here (pdf).

Yahoo Uncovers New Demographics Based on Email Habits
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  • http://www.helpwithbaby.com Maria

    Once this research become successful, Yahoo will definitely find ways to support the needs of their clients and to increase their market as well.

  • Raia

    This is only related in that it has to do with Yahoo… just thought you might be interested in this story, Chris, as it may explain some of Yahoo’s problems of late:

    http://www.ymessengerblog.com/blog/2009/01/28/im-sms-in-yahoo-mail-classic/

    It has to do with their “Classic” email (bare bones, or at least it used to be bare bones) versus their all-of-the-bells-and-whistles email, why people choose/chose between the two and what Yahoo is doing to mess that whole program up… lol

    Have a nice day!