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Google’s Gmail is the No. 3 webmail service in the world, behind Yahoo Mail and Microsoft’s Windows Live Hotmail, but it has been growing quickly. Now the company is pushing ahead with an overhaul designed to give its web interface broader appeal.

After previewing the new look in July, the company today announced additional changes and started giving users the opportunity to switch to the new design.

In addition to a cleaner look, the changes include a new conversation view, the ability to quickly change the density of the messages in the inbox, new background themes, a customizable left navigation pane and a new advanced search panel that can drop down from the search box.

Here’s a look at the latest numbers from comScore Networks, showing the trends as of September. Note especially the year-over-year surge by Gmail.

Worldwide Visitors, Age 15+ Home/Work Location Total Unique Visitors (000)
Sep-2010 Sep-2011 % Change
Total Internet : Total Audience 1,294,784 1,420,316 10
Services – e-mail 843,577 909,421 8
Windows Live Hotmail 361,731 335,159 -7
Yahoo! Mail 273,102 303,170 11
Google Gmail 193,319 266,636 38
AOL Email 30,674 30,825 0

Previously: After beating back spam, Microsoft takes on the rest of the crap in your inbox


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