Celebrating Gmail’s ninth birthday, Google has released an infographic that highlights the main events in Gmail’s evolution.
Leveraging “the power of Google Search,” the service launched as an invite-only beta on April 1 2004, as some of the older Gmail account users will remember, offering 1GB of storage space for emails.
While Gmail retained the “beta” particle in its name until mid-2009, Google continued to improve it by offering users more storage space and adding more and more features outside the scope of merely sending and receiving messages. Even in beta, Gmail was one of the most popular free email solutions out there.
It’s probably safe to say that Gmail is one of the most important online service Google has to offer, and while some people still criticize it for the ads it displays, it’s still a free product that anyone can register for. Android and Chrome device users are even more familiar with Gmail, and all the other web services available under their Google accounts, but Gmail is supported by most mobile platforms and works on any desktop OS out there – all you need is a web browser and an Internet connection to get started.
By June 2012, there were over 425 million Gmail accounts in use, and that number is probably even higher right now, although Google didn’t provide any usage statistics in its blog post.
Without listing all the features Google added to Gmail over time, we’ll point you to the detailed infographic above that tracks in chronological order the main Gmail improvements.
Happy birthday, Gmail!