Web curator Hunch.com asked its 700,000 users which email service they use, as well as a series of questions about their lifestyles. With 75 million answers to work with, the site was able to discover some striking differences between users of Gmail, and those who have stuck with older web clients like Yahoo!, Hotmail, and AOL. For instance, Gmail users are more likely to be young, Yahoo! users are often extroverted, and AOL users have typically been in a relationship for more than ten years. Here are four other takeaways from the study:
1. Gmail users are techies
When users were asked to "describe your relationship with techno-gadgets and gizmos," 66 percent of Gmail users said they "love them," as compared to 47 percent for Yahoo! and Hotmail, and 42 percent for AOL. Gmail users are also more likely to buy new gadgets when they're first released, whereas "non-Gmail users subscribe to the belief that 'if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,' especially if the new fix is cost-prohibitive."
2. Gmail is for men; other services are for women
Of the four main email services, only Gmail users were more likely to be male than female. To get more specific, Gmail attracts liberal, college-educated males aged 18 to 34. The most common AOL user, meanwhile, was a 35- to 64-year-old woman. Hotmail attracts younger women who often live with their parents in the suburbs, while Yahoo! appeals to family-focused mothers who are younger than their AOL counterparts.
3. AOL and Yahoo! users are overweight
The aforementioned 35- to 64-year-old female AOL user is likely to be family-focused — and overweight. Yahoo! users, too, skew heavier than Hotmail and Gmail devotees.
4. Employers frown on AOL
This study makes clear that "unless you have a custom domain connected to an elite alma mater or a professional website that hiring managers will find irresistible," it's best to use Gmail to apply for jobs, says Samantha Murphy at TechNewsDaily. Not only does AOL signify a bygone email age, it also has a bad reputation for sending out spam.