Home Gmail turns 15 with a subscriber base of 1.5 billion per month

Gmail turns 15 with a subscriber base of 1.5 billion per month

Gmail was launched today 1st April fifteen years ago in 2004. It was the very same day Sundar Pichai appeared for an interview at Google. Pichai went on to be the CEO of the technology company.

Google started off as a search engine. Later it diversified into various products under broader product lines like android, cloud, ads and analytics and others.  Gmail is one of the products under the “ collaboration and work” line along with Drive, Docs, Hangouts, sheets and Gsuite.

Gmail was developed by Paul Buchheit who thought of the idea of webmail in the 1990 even before Google was launched. On requested to develop a personalization product at Google, he created the Gmail in a single by reusing the code from “Google groups”. Compared to other competitors of that time, like yahoo, who provided the email in plain HTML format that were slow and quite featureless, Buchheit integrated JavaScript programs into HTML a technology later came to be known as AJAX. This make email body less dependent on servers and made it faster and with exiting features.

Due to high internal mail traffic Google, created a need for search for better management and response. This required humongous amount of storage space for better and intelligent search.  After much deliberations, 1 GB of storage space was allotted to each mail profile compared to meager 2 MB storage space offered at that time by other webmail service providers. This lead to users keeping the emails in their inbox without deleting those frequently.

The faster email with features and huge storage space and absolutely free service supported by advertising set Gmail on a path to success. Gmail uses SMTP for incoming mails and IMAP and POP for outgoing ones. Although Gmail is a webmail, the emails can be archived or downloaded and saved to hard drives just like client mail.  This makes Gmail immensely flexible.

Gmail has become a must due to many more reasons. It is not only fast and free, it is very secure. The security features are invariable stronger making the product difficult to hack. Google has antispam features. It stops the spam mails before it reaches the inbox. However, the user can also reclassify the incoming mails. Sometimes useful mails get into spam folder; the mail could be reclassified as an  useful mail by right clicking on the mail body and marking it “not spam”. The reverse is done for any useless mail getting into  inbox.

One can easily search a particular mail by using a search feature. This is a very strong feature, that can pick out one particular mail from a clutter of hundreds. Due to the integration of JavaScript, the chat, video, text platforms are incorporated. This kind of feature leverages the email feature. Anyone can click on the user profile of the sender on the console itself and initiate a conversation and video conference without purchasing or installing any video or chat software.

Gmail is accessible on mobile phones that make the users free from the desktops. One can use the mail service anywhere from any part of the world and at anytime. This versatility is indeed convenient for people travelling.

Ads are irritating to the users. However, the service provider has to make money to keep the service free. Ads are well researched and sent to the inbox. So useful ads like display ads and useful links are sent. No untargeted banner ads and pop-ups are found in Gmail. This makes Gmail more tolerated and as those are targeted, many lead to conversions, thereby Google makes money.

Security is extremely strict with Google mail. Mails are not easily hacked. Users are prompted to make strong passwords that make the passwords difficult to decipher. However, there have been accusations that there are third party softwares that can read emails in Gmail without opening those.

Continuous evolution towards betterment is a Google trait. Gmail is soon to have dynamic email, that will help users to fill up surveys and initiate search in the inbox itself. It will also allow to snooze pop up messages till another time  or open attachments without opening the email. As time goes it will get more and more integrated with the Google Artificial Intelligence and play a more decisive role in our lives. Today the subscriber base is at around 1.5 billion that has dwarfed Yahoo and other webmail service providers is only due to Google’s trait of continuous improvement towards better user experience.


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