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With Mature US Online Population, Small Gains for Email, Search Usage

People who go online use email and search first and foremost

Internet usage is ubiquitous in the US, according to a new eMarketer report, “US Internet Users 2013: Solid, Saturated Market for Web, Search and Email.” At 76.9% of the population this year, eMarketer estimates that between 2013 and 2017 the number of internet users will average percentage gains just below 2%, equating to less than 20 million new users.

Email and search engine usage, two of the most common digital activities, have also reached saturation among internet users. For the vast majority of internet users, email and search are basic functions necessary to efficiently use the web—and navigate daily life—unlike other digital activities such as social networking, video viewing or gaming.

eMarketer expects there to be 216.6 million US email users this year, representing 89% of total internet users. Two out of three people in the US will be email users in 2013. Growth will be slightly under 3% between 2013 and 2014 and will slow to 2% thereafter.

Adults will account for 87% of all US email users in 2013. Email use is near universal for internet users 18 and older. Nearly all adult internet users, or 78.4% of the US adult population, will send an email via any device at least once per month this year. The number of adults who use email will climb slightly throughout the forecast period, though most growth will come from US population increases.

For most internet users, going online is often about finding information. Search is the first stop on the web when it comes to researching anything. Google continues to overwhelmingly lead in search usage, ahead of Yahoo! and Bing. Though PC searches still dominate, users are moving more and more of their inquiries to smartphones and tablets—both on the go and at home.

The number of search engine users will surpass 200 million this year, according to eMarketer. Nearly 84% of those who go online will use a search engine at least once per month in 2013. eMarketer expects that search engine users will represent two out of three people in the US by 2015. Growth will fall below 3% next year and slow throughout the remainder of the forecast period. Like email, search is one of the most basic and necessary online activities and has reached saturation among internet users.


The full report, “US Internet Users 2013: Solid, Saturated Market for Web, Search and Email” is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.


Check out today’s other articles, “For Mobile Gaming, the iPhone Rules” and “Consumers in Finland Compare, Buy Travel Online.”

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