Gmail Turns 9: Google Takes Us Down Memory Lane, Makes Us Feel Old

    April 10, 2013
    Josh Wolford

Can you believe that Gmail is 9 years old? I haven’t felt this old since last week, when Twitter informed me that it was the 19th anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain. Yikes.

Anyway, Google is now officially 9, having launched in beta on April 1st, 2004. In celebration of that, Google has posted a fun little infographic that deals with the evolution of the product.

“Gmail was inspired by one user’s feedback that she was tired of struggling to find emails buried deep in her inbox. So we built a new email that leveraged the power of Google Search. You told us you were tired of spam, so we set to tackling that, and today your feedback makes it possible for Gmail to filter out well over 99% of incoming spam. You also said that you needed tools to deal with information overload, so we introduced Priority Inbox to help you manage your email (and we’re still exploring new ways to it even easier),” says Google software engineer Zohair Hyder.

As you march through the past 9 years of Gmail, you remember that it took Google nearly two years to add Gchat to Gmail, and how long it took for Google to open up signups Gmail (three years after the beta launch). Not everything that’s happened with Gmail has been a hit with users (for a recent example, check out the reaction to the new compose box), but with hundreds of millions of active users, I guess we can say that we’re pretty happy that Gmail is around. It’s a lot more useful than most 9-year-olds I know, let’s put it that way.

Check out a trip down Gmail memory lane below (click to enlarge):

Evolution of Gmail