20 years of Gmail: remembering the history of the Internet's main email

20 years of Gmail: remembering the history of the Internet's main email

20 years ago, April Fools' Day was dominated by a great truth. On April 1, 2004, Google launched Gmail. At first, many netizens thought it was just a joke, which was common in the company at that time. But on that day, Larry Page and Sergey Ben brought real life to email that became the most popular on the planet.

The big difference with Gmail in the mid-2000s was the massive 1GB of storage space. It may seem small by today's standards, but it was Up to 500 times larger than providers at the timewhich offered 15MB and even charged for it.

There was room to hold 13,500 emails compared to 60 in Yahoo or Microsoft inboxes. Google still allowed matches for files up to 25MB and checked any browser because it wasn't tied to the desktop app.

The old Gmail interface was simple, but came with modern features, like message chaining. (Image: Reproduction/The Edge)source: Reproduction/Edge

With the ability to store a lot of messages, Gmail has integrated Google Search to retrieve old emails more easily. It was the provider who brought with him the series of communications on the same topic.

First, you needed an invitation to open a Gmail account. Only in 2007 did Google make email available to anyone. The following year, the company introduced themes that automatically separate inboxes. Added priorities, smart replies, summaries, and one-click unsubscribe buttons.

Gmail in 2024

Over the years, Gmail has also deployed the cloud and Javascript AJAX technology, making emails more dynamic. This way, your inboxes are updated automatically, without you having to press F5, and it also helps reduce spam and spam.

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Currently, Gmail has 1.2 billion users, which represents one-seventh of the world's population. There are about 1.8 billion active accounts, each with 15GB of free storage space, for emails and other Google apps, like Photos and Drive.

Gmail has always been mobile, accessible from any computer connected to the Internet, through a browser.  Now it fits your hand.  (Photo: Solen Veisa/Unsplash)Gmail has always been mobile, accessible from any computer connected to the Internet, through a browser. Now it fits your hand. (Photo: Solen Veisa/Unsplash)source: Solen Veisa/Unsplash

Despite its current size, someone needs more space. This is where Google makes some of its revenue, selling more storage to users who two decades ago only needed 1GB for their messages.

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About the Author: Osmond Blake

"Web geek. Wannabe thinker. Reader. Freelance travel evangelist. Pop culture aficionado. Certified music scholar."

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