Thursday, February 1, 2007

Mailinator's 2006 Stats

I'm definitely a stat junkie and the free Google Analytics definitely feeds my habit. Of course, that's just web stats. For email stats, I've kept my own (far shoddier) statistics. Here's some stats:

Web Stats
The number of hits Mailinator gets is surprisingly consistent. Note the below graph is done with Google Analytics, thus it does not count people on browsers with javascript turned off and it does not count RSS hits (which are several 10's of thousands a day - way more than web hits).

The consistency surprises me because of Mailinator's nature. Personally, I use it "now and then" - like when I need it. Maybe (maybe) once a week when I sign up for something. Its not the type of site that you just hang out and browse on. So interestingly, this "now and then" use spreads across its users in a very uniform way.

What's also interesting is how people find Mailinator. It would seem that people just "know about it". A very large percentage simply come directly to it. A smaller but notable percentage get there through Google. Stumbleupon give a surprising number of referrals (in fact, its 10 times the number of yahoo).

Note that Mailinator's Alexa rating averages around 30,000. I've seen it as good as 19,000 and as bad as 60,000 or so in the last year (seems to bounce a lot).

Email Stats
Sorry this section doesn't have such pretty graphs, like I said, this stuff is all home grown and far less pretty. Also - if you remember (from the architecture entry below) Mailinator's SMTP server is home-grown. That's one reason it can handle this volume but alas it is also a work in progress, thus some stats were lost at times - in other words, the following numbers are estimates although I feel they're still pretty representative.

Number of average emails per day: 1.234 million
Number of total emails for 2006: 450.74 million
Percentage rejected for same subject: 8.7%

Number of total emails for 2005: 280.68 million

Note that "same subject" means mailinator got emails with the exact same subject over and over and over (i.e., bulk email).

Obviously, spam is way way up. And honestly, the surge happened mostly in Q4 of 2006. If 2007 keeps on the track its on now, we'll be headed for (get this) - 1.29 BILLION emails for the year.

How's that for lotsa spam?

Another interesting note is that Mailinator got a total number of web users (not counting those with javascript off and not counting RSS users) of about 1.3million visitors for the year. Say we double that to account for non-javascript and RSS, making it 2.6million for the year.

Assuming that each visitor only cared about 1 email each, that means of the 450 million emails we got, only about .5% were actually looked at. Or 172 or every 173 emails was crap that no one wanted!


rattus said...

Phew, this increase of spam is pretty scary. At least for sysadmins :( *shiver*

C. Dunnigan said...

Very Interesting! I did a project in Doug Lea's parallel programming class in the fall of '05 that involved optimizing(non- blocking data structures, NIO, etc) the mailinator smtp server code. I am curious if the code that we worked with was the same code running mailinator daily?

Paul Tyma said...

No its not.. but it should be! I remember when Doug set that project up but I never heard much about the result. I should ask him :) : Anatomy of a Spammy Campaign

Mailinator is a popular disposable email service. It's also become a great tool for QA Teams to test email receipt, acknowledgment, au...