Thunderbird Usage is on the Rise

Given Mozilla’s recent announcement that they plan to end support for Thunderbird, this is sort of a surprise.

Thunderbird usage is on the rise according to latest usage information published by Mozilla on the official blog. The email client that celebrated its eleventh birthday on December 7 crossed the 10 million Active Daily Inquiries (ADI) mark for the first time on November 30, 2015.

Mozilla measures usage by counting the pings it receives from the product it maintains. The email client is configured to check for plugin blocklist updates regularly, and that’s where the 10 million figure comes from.

That’s however not the final user count as one needs to take into account users who don’t use the email client on a daily basis, and environments where Thunderbird is being used but pings are blocked by security.

Based on past studies, 2.5 is being used to estimate the total active users of a program, and that is 25 million in the case of Thunderbird.

This is not exact science on the other hand but if the same multiplier is being used throughout the years, it should paint a clear picture of the rise and fall of user levels.

thunderbird users statistics

The graph that Mozilla published highlights not only the breakthrough, but also the countries that most Thunderbird pings come from.

The top five countries are Germany, Japan, United States, France and Italy.

For comparison purposes, check out the state of the desktop email client Thunderbird which features another graph that highlights the yearly ADI growth.

Pings grew by about 2 million since mid-2012, the time when Mozilla decided to put the email client on the backburner and make it more or less a community maintained project. Considering that this was achieved without marketing or an advertisement budget, it is certainly impressive and one has to wonder where the email client could stand today if Mozilla would have made it a priority instead.

Mozilla announced plans recently to drop Thunderbird completely. The idea expressed by the organization would make Thunderbird a standalone open source project maintained by a dedicated team. Mozilla wants to back the project financially in the beginning and lend support to it as well to make sure it is off to a good start.

The blog post on the official Mozilla blog indicates that the process is already underway. Thunderbird’s temporary home for the foreseeable future is the Mozilla Foundation, but that is just to ensure that the project has a legal and financial home for the time being.

This means as well that the Thunderbird project may accept donations directly which will benefit the project directly.

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