Growing popularity of email services such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and Rediff has forced desi Internet service provider Indiatimes to shut down its email services. The service has been closed from Monday.

According to Internet Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), there are 86.9 million email users in India out of the total 150 million Internet users. It is not known how many users are on Indiatimes email platform.

Globally, the big three are Microsoft’s Hotmail (now called Windows Live Hotmail), Yahoo! Mail and Gmail, together accounting for well over one billion users, says Email Marketing Reports – a platform for newcomers and professionals for email marketing.

Gmail, which launched in 2004, has more than 425 million active email users globally, according to Google’s ‘Official Blog’ released in June.

As of October 2011, Hotmail's user base stood at 350 million and Microsoft’s Hotmail had 360 million unique users a month as of July 2011, said Email Marketing Reports.

The Indiatimes Web site said email services will be permanently shut down from February 18, 2013.

Archana Vohra, Vice-President, Times Internet Ltd, did not respond to questions sent by Business Line via email.

“This is to inform that the Email Service will stop accepting new users from 19th November, 2012. The Email Service ("Service") will be discontinued and shall be permanently shut down with effect from 18th February, 2013 at 12 PM (Indian Standard Time),” said the company’s Web site.

It said the users will no longer be able to send or receive mails or access their accounts for the purpose of reading mail and/or transfer any data (emails, tasks, documents, folders, appointments, and/or contacts) currently saved in their account post February 18.

Started in 1999 and re-launched in 2007, the email service of the Times Group seems to be not generating revenues to the company. However, it said that the users can continue to log in to all Times Internet network sites using their email address.

(This article was published on November 19, 2012)
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