Gmail is 20 years old today

When newly launched twenty years ago today, April 1, 2004, people wondered if the Google's announcement of Gmail was a joke. Search-based email? A gigabyte of storage for free? Whaaa? But I guess it clicked with folks, since most of us in the deliverability space recognize that this new kid on the block (HoTMaiL launching in 1996 and Rocketmail/Yahoo! Mail launching in 1997) is the biggest place B2C marketers, email service providers and CRM platforms delivery (or attempt to deliver) mail to.

It is amazing to me that the only reference to spam in the announcement refers to "turning it into canned meat," given that how well spam filters work is now such a commonly important feature to so many email users. I guess that's why Gmail came to block 15 billion unwanted email messages a day. And that was in 2022. I have a sneaking suspicion that they block more mail (or at least more kinds of mail) now versus then, as their spam filters (and sender requirements) evolve.

Happy birthday, Gmail! I wonder what the next twenty years will bring. Will Gmail still be the number one mailbox provider in 2044? Will it be supplanted by another popular email platform or system? Or it will be like MySpace, something that technically still exists, but you don't really know of anyone who uses it, as all the cool kids have moved on to a totally different and unrelated platform?

I look forward to finding out.

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