Hitwise: Visits to Gmail Surpass YouTube
March 10, 2009, ReadWriteWeb — According to a new report by web measurement firm Hitwise, in the past two weeks visits to Gmail have been consistently higher than popular Google-owned video site YouTube. Additionally, these two sites have been contending for the #10 spot overall since the week ending January 10, 2009. Historically, the same top 10 sites have been fixed in their positions, so this shift represents the first big change in quite a while.
Across the top Google properties, Gmail is now #2, trailing only Google search. However, even with the second position, Gmail is still under 10% of all visits. This is still up 70% from the same week last year, beating YouTube's overall growth of 16% in the same time frame.
Looking at the growth trend between YouTube and Gmail shows how dramatically Gmail has grown over the past year. Gmail has been on a steep, steady growth line while YouTube's fortunes have reversed a number of times. When comparing Gmail to other popular webmail clients Yahoo! Mail and Windows Live Mail, it has a ways to go to get close to capturing the market share of those other products.
Finally, Hitwise reported on the top three sources of traffic to Gmail year-over-year, and the majority of referrals, as could be guessed, is Google itself with 48.83%, up 10% since last year. The runners up are Facebook with 4.37% and Yahoo! Mail with 4.29%. Yahoo! Mail referrals dropped 18% from last year. To us this appears that while adoption of Gmail is growing, it may be as a result of people choosing one web mail provider over another.