– While 79% of MailTrack.io Gmail users in Europe said they know about Inbox, only a third of those who had tried it believed it would be a substitute for Gmail
– 37% responded they either do not know Inbox or do not intend to try it
A survey conducted by the Spanish startup MailTrack.io concluded that a great majority of its Gmail users in Europe do not see Google’s new email app, Inbox, as a substitutive of its traditional Gmail app. The survey was conducted between November 12 and 17, 2014, obtaining answers from 849 European users of the MailTrack.io app — a Chrome extension for email tracking.
Although Inbox was just released on October 22, 2014, there is evidence that users would not be jumping to conclusions because of the lack of information about the new app. According to the survey, 79% were aware of Google’s new product, and 80% among these have shown interest in trying it.
In the meantime, while 21% stated they had never heard about it, only 28% of those who tried it assured they considered stop using traditional Gmail after the new release.
Among the ones who knew or tried the new email solution, only 14% thought Inbox could be a substitutive of Gmail in their cases. Interestly, around 16% knew about the product, but were not interested in even trying it.
Those numbers are an indicator that Gmail users might not agree with Google’s vision of what email user experience should be in the future, the main intention behind the company’s release according to an interview given by Gmail’s product director, Alex Gawley, to The New York Times.
MailTrack.io has 77,829 Gmail users in Europe (mostly concentrated in Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, and Great Britain). The survey was run by MailTrack.io using a margin of error of + 3.42 percentage points, and a confidence level of 95%.
According to a report published by comScore in 2012, there were almost 75 million Gmail users in Europe. In the same year, Google reported there were over 425 million monthly active Gmail accounts worldwide.
Does Google Want to Substitute Gmail with Inbox?
It just might be the case that, since the beginning, Google did not intend to create Inbox in order to substitute Gmail, per se.
As Marat Ryndin explained on TechCrunch, while it has always been Google’s intention to make email a more up-to-date, social-media-style tool, not everyone on Google’s team agreed that a solution such as Inbox would be the best evolution of the traditional Gmail app. That might explain why Google itself explained on its official blog that “Gmail’s still there for you, but Inbox is something new.”
Among the questions we might have about Google’s latest release, is how much we can trust algorithm when selecting and prioritizing our emails. Human communication is as complicated as our own nature, and as Jackie Dove puts it on The Next Web, codes just might not get all the subtleties of the messages we exchange. What if Google decides an important message should not be highlighted? Can we trust it?
It seems that Inbox was born since the beginning as an alternative, quasi-experimental project, despite big expectations among some Google executives. We all have a strong feeling that email won’t die. But, in the end, like everything else, only time will tell what’s coming – the next Android, or the next Google Buzz?