The latest research from YouGov and digital marketing provider Pure360 has found that Microsoft’s Hotmail is Britain’s most widely used email host.

Nearly a third of Britons online confirmed they used Hotmail as their main personal email account, with Yahoo second most popular at about 15% and Google’s Gmail taking up 14%.

Early forms of email first emerged in the 1970s and for many of us, it’s been a battle to get through the daily influx of messages each day.

Due to the quick and easy method of sending emails, the format has been criticised for changing the language of communication to use more casual language. The etiquette of email is far different to say, letter writing where a formal address such as “Dear ___” is often replaced with a simple, “Hi”.

Emailing can of course create conversations that span continents quickly, but how we deal with our email also comes into questions when it starts to demand constant attention.

A recent survey conducted in Australia shows that email users often feel obligated to read or process email, even during down time and that there is a need for people to set limits, especially when more of us can access both our work and personal email accounts from almost anywhere on a mobile device.

The online survey of over 2,000 people also reveals that Hotmail is particularly popular amongst young adults, with 47% of 18 to 24 year olds claiming they have Hotmail as their main personal account.

Fear of change?

It also revealed that we’re suckers for inboxes as the average Brit online has four email accounts, no wonder it’s so hard to get to ‘inbox zero’. Part of the reason for accumulating email accounts is our inability to give up addresses. Akin to moving home and letting everyone know your new address;  making sure everyone who needs your new email is informed can be tricky, especially with auto addresses appearing as a function for most host email services.

Regionally, Hotmail reaches its greatest popularity in the North East, where 39% use the MSN email host as their main personal email account. Gmail’s highest popularity is in London, where 18% of users are choosing Google’s service.

The research from Pure360 and YouGov also reveals that AOL is the least popular email host, with only 3% of respondents saying they used an AOL account as their main personal account. That said, how many of us have a legacy account somewhere that is slowly filling up with spam?

The total sample size for the research was 2076 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th and 17th August 2012 and the survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

What’s your email weapon of choice? Do you think about swapping?

Image credit: Hyperdashery