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Google announces Web mail service

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 01, 2004

Google announces Web mail service. May or may not be an April Fools joke

Reader comments

BryanApr 01, 2004 at 8:11AM

If that’s the case, the joke is on the NYT, CNet, Slashdot and Yahoo! News, because they all ran stories about it.

BenApr 01, 2004 at 8:14AM

Yep, it’s legit. It’s not ready to go quite yet, tho. They will let us know by email.

steefApr 01, 2004 at 8:21AM

Google Copernicus is their genuine April Fools this year.

TomasApr 01, 2004 at 8:55AM

Bryan: Yeah, and on March 31st no less.

BobbyMacApr 01, 2004 at 11:56AM

THey are going to scan the content of each e-mail and then attach a text message advertisement related to that topic. If you are discussing a concert then they will send an ad for Ticketmaster.
Which sucks. But you do get a GIG of free space. Which is nice.

Subzero BlueApr 01, 2004 at 12:14PM

I’m sure it’s an April’s Fool joke.
1 GB of free email space ?
With the popularity of Google, you’re talking millions of users from day one. That’s a shitload of diskspace.

This joke makes mine more believable than reality.

Buzz AndersenApr 01, 2004 at 12:41PM

It’s definitely an April Fool’s Joke—look at Kevin Fox’s post on the subject (not the “ha ha” category and the fact that he says “I love this time of year”)…


philApr 01, 2004 at 1:22PM

i hate trying to read news online on april 1.

Brian BreslinApr 01, 2004 at 5:07PM

G-Mail isn’t an april fools, it makes PERFECT sense, so much sense that I wish I had come up with the idea myself. First off, 1gb of space isn’t storage space for all your precious files, it is for email. This email is supposed to accumulate over time. However, at its onset, no one will use more than a few megs, so space isn’t an issue. PLUS over time storage is becoming cheaper and cheaper and cheaper… so 1 gig will eventually cost something like a buck or less for them.

So think of it this way, they are selling a TARGETTED ad on each email, with a gig worth of email, we are looking at 50,000+ emails per user. If they even make a nickel per ad (which would be high, but work with me), then you are looking at a minimum of $2,500 per user in revenue over time. (even at a penny, it is still alot more than their costs, and they keep users away from yahoo, etc.).

Genius i tell you, genius.

CheapsterApr 02, 2004 at 12:46AM

I hope it’s not a joke either… I currently use yahoo email, and it stinks. Not only does yahoo show tons of ads, but they are constantly flashing huge banners “you are running out of space… blah blah” (too lazy to delete old email) pay $$ for megs of space.. etc.. I’ll take targeted ads any day. In fact sometimes the ads are quite useful.

Subzero BlueApr 02, 2004 at 2:57AM

Looks like this is for real, lol
I just love google

someoneApr 02, 2004 at 6:17AM

Brian Breslin: yes, you are right in that space becomes cheaper, but size that people need increases.

JonApr 02, 2004 at 10:54AM

Hm, it looks like Mr. Kottke has a gmail account already. Damn you, Jason!

Brian BreslinApr 02, 2004 at 11:55AM

someone: i know that space needs increase, but no one gets a gig of mail in a year if you get my drift. When they add customers, they don’t buy 1GB and dedicate that to them immediately, they throw their account on the server w/thousands of others, and when they need more space, they add it to the server, not setup 1GB parcels for each right at the outset. I ranted about this on my site: http://www.polirant.com with everything from my projections as to how much $ they can make, etc.

cyberhillApr 02, 2004 at 8:06PM

Coming from google themselves, the data storage will cost about $1/gb. This is pretty cheap considering noone will use that much early on at least, with adwords they think they’ll be able to pay it off easily. I’m not sure if the $1 is Australian or American, I believe I read that in america you can get a gigabyte for 50c, on average.

DavidApr 02, 2004 at 11:48PM

Oh great, now when my girlfriend emails me about breaking up, Google will send me ads for dating services.

Bruce ElrickApr 03, 2004 at 5:24PM

There is now a link on the g-mail page - saying ‘Happy Birthday April’ with a picture of a couple embracing!

What the hell is that all about? Another hint at an April fool?

curiousApr 03, 2004 at 11:43PM

Who is April? ok, she has something to do with google… maybe the male in the photo could first be identified?

someoneApr 04, 2004 at 4:50AM

Now I’m beginning to think: maybe the fact that it’s a joke is the April Fools joke itself.

Jon BellApr 05, 2004 at 2:27PM

Rob Glaser and Bill Gates seem to have accounts as well. Hmm.

Brian BreslinApr 05, 2004 at 6:29PM

how do you see who has accounts? or do you have an account already?

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.