Gmail is 15 years old

Original author: Tom Holman
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Back in 2004, email looked completely different. Inboxes were jammed with spam and it was simply not possible to find real messages or files. In addition, the number of letters was limited, so we had to permanently delete them so as not to exceed the storage limit. We created Gmail to solve these problems, and grew into a product that helps 1.5 billion users complete tasks every day. Today, on the 15th anniversary of Gmail, we will look into the past and share plans.

We are different from the first day

On April 1, 2004, we launched the Gmail service (despite the date and reasons for jokes). A powerful Google search engine was built into it to group messages into conversations, simplifying their search and working with them. It was also possible to store 1 GB of data for free, which is almost 100 times more than was available at that time. It is not surprising that on this day ( international day of laughter / fool ), the whole world thought it was a hoax.

Email spam was a serious issue in the mid-2000s. Gmail solved this problem by blocking spam before it even reached the inbox, and also provided people with the ability to report suspicious emails to make email even more secure. Over the years, we have expanded the ability to filter spam using artificial intelligence, and today AI helps us block about 10 million spam messages every minute. In this video from back in 2007, our team explains how Gmail fights spam.

When the service was launched, there were a few more years before the first Android smartphones appeared. But as mobile devices began to spread everywhere, Gmail began to move from a desktop-only application towards support on phones and tablets, opening up new horizons for “work on the go”. Gmail's inbox categories tabs were the first of their kind to help organize your messages. Features based on artificial intelligence, such as Smart Reply and Nudges, helped to respond more quickly to messages and stay up to date with your tasks.

Future plans

Gmail has changed a lot over the past 15 years, and before we blow out our birthday candles, here's a short list of upcoming updates.

First of all, we strive to make Gmail more useful. You may have already used Smart Compose, an AI-based feature that helps you write emails faster. This feature introduces more than 1 billion characters per week instead of a person. This is enough to fill all the pages of The Lord of the Rings with a circulation of 1000 copies. Today we are updating Smart Compose to include more languages ​​(Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese). ) and transfer it to Android and iOS (previously it was only available on Pixel 3 devices).

Smart Compose is getting smarter, so to speak. He will personalize the suggestions for you, so if you prefer to say “Hello” or “Hello, buddy” in your congratulations, Smart Compose will offer just that. It can also suggest a subject line based on the letter you wrote.

Then you can decide when your email will be delivered to someone else's mailbox. Today we have added a new function that allows you to schedule sending e-mails for a more suitable date or time, which is useful if you work in different time zones or want to not interrupt someone’s vacation.

Finally, you can now act without leaving your inbox . It’s now possible to respond to comments in Google Docs, view hotel recommendations, and more directly in emails. Thus, you do not need to open a new tab or application to achieve the goal.

Despite the fact that we launched Gmail on April Fool's Day, over the past 15 years we have not given a reason to treat the service as a joke and look forward to what will happen next.

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