Last July, MySpace decided to get into the email business and launched MySpace Mail. According to the latest data we just received from MySpace, this initiative has turned out to be a success for the social network. In total, over 15 million MySpace users now use the service to receive and send email with an @myspace.com address. MySpace smartly coupled its users' email addresses to their vanity URLs, which surely helped the adoption of the service.

Thanks to this connection to vanity URLs, all of MySpace's users have access to what is very likely to be their preferred email handle, even if they haven't started to use the service yet. MySpace also offers unlimited file storage for MySpace Mail users.

Exceeded Expectations

According to MySpace's Rajit Marwah, who headed the launch of MySpace Mail, "Hitting the 15 million mark exceeded our expectations - at launch we set a goal of 10 million accounts created within a year - we surpassed this goal in less than a quarter."

Some Perspective

Of course, it's important to put these numbers into perspective. Most email services don't release very detailed statistics about their user base, but according to ComScore, Gmail had about 30 million unique visitors in February 2009 and Hotmail had around 45 million visitors.

According to ComScore data we received from MySpace, MySpace Mail now gets over 38 million unique visitors every month (this includes users who only use MySpace mail for internal communication but don't use it to send out emails outside of the MySpace network).

It's also worth noting that the number of unique users to MySpace has declined over the last year. According to the latest data, however, MySpace has been able to stop this decline and the numbers have now stabilized.

At the time of MySpace Mail's launch, the site's messaging system accounted for about 20% of MySpace's traffic. Chances are that the increased popularity of MySpace mail is helping the service to stabilize its user numbers, though chances are that it isn't bringing a lot of new users to the service either.