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Are Yahoo! and Hotmail Blocking Gmail Invites?

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Joel Johnson created a buzz earlier today by reporting that some Gmail invites and emails aren’t getting through to Hotmail users. Several reports also claim the emails aren’t getting through Yahoo! Mail filters.

Have you noticed any problems sending Gmail invites? Share your experiences at WebProWorld.

"Stop In The Name of Competition... Please Don't Wipe Us Out" cries Microsoft and Yahoo...
"Stop In The Name of Competition… Please Don’t Wipe Us Out" cries Microsoft and Yahoo…

Paul Thurrett of WinnetMag reports Hotmail, which is owned by Microsoft, plans to increase its email storage to compete with the 1 Gigabite of space Google offers through its new Gmail service.

"Hotmail [may] be blocking the Gmail invitations," Johnson, editor of Gizmodo, announced after a Gmail invite he’d attempted to send to a Hotmail account bounced.

Alex Nobert, a reader of Johnson’s blog, also reported similar problems sending invites to Hotmail from Orkut, Google’s online community. "Orkut responded that they had to work out an arrangement with Hotmail," Nobert said. "About a month later several old invites arrived at Hotmail addresses. I suspect it has to do with an unknown source domain generating too many emails to Hotmail accounts in a short span and being picked up by Hotmail spam filters."

They aren’t the only ones reporting problems. WebmasterWorld member Robert Skelton reported his ISP is blocking Gmail emails “due to potential privacy and confidentiallity considerations.”

Google has been widely criticized for scanning emails, which draws up privacy concerns although users agree to Gmail’s terms and conditions when signing up for the free service. "We collect limited account information and store and maintain your account and email messages on our secure servers," Google admits, but maintains that all collected information will not be shared or sold without user permission.

“The biggest threat to the privacy of the person’s reply is the person they send it to – not the provider,” Skelton says in this WebmasterWorld thread.

Several reports have also accused Google’s leading competitor Yahoo! of sending Gmail invites straight to the spam filter.

“It’s a well known issue with Yahoo! mail that Gmail invitations are being delivered straight into that bulk folder,” claims one WebHostingTalk member.

"Since a competing free email service can potentially cut into Yahoo’s business, they’ve set up filters to make it more difficult for Gmail invitations to get to their users (or at least, that’s the way it appears)," writes Greg at the Talent Show. “As far as Yahoo is concerned, Gmail invites are spam.”

Greg reported that Yahoo!, which recently increased its email storage to 100MB to compete with Google, automatically filters any email from a Gmail address that contains the body of a Gmail invite.

If you have accounts with Yahoo! and Gmail or know someone who does, you can test this theory yourself. Find out how…

WebProNews tested this theory and both Gmail invites and emails from Gmail accounts containing the body of Gmail invites were automatically filtered to Yahoo! Mail’s "bulk mail" folder.

While privacy concerns may be getting Gmail blocked by some ISPs, Johnson personally doesn’t believe Hotmail is blocking Gmail invites, although he says, "If Hotmail is blocking Gmail invites, they aren’t doing it on a widespread basis."

WebProNews tested these reports by sending Gmail invites to a Hotmail account, and the invites were successfully received – although Gmail emails to some ISPs were caught by spam filters.

Could it be that Hotmail is blocking emails from Google or is it just a problem with spam filters?

Brittany Thompson is an administrator for WebProWorld.com and contributes to the Insider Reports with her regular articles and interviews.

Are Yahoo! and Hotmail Blocking Gmail Invites?
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