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An Introduction to Gmail

Gmail gives people free web-based email. It is run by Google and google first announced it to the world on March 31, 2004. It is currently in beta testing.

Gmail gives people free web-based email. It is run by Google and google first announced it to the world on March 31, 2004. It is currently in beta testing.

Gmail Features

Gmail lets people keep 1000 megabytes (one gigabyte) of emails. This is more than 166 times more than other websites (like Yahoo! and Hotmail) give people. This means people with Gmail can keep thousands of emails forever.

Gmail lets you search your emails with the search technology Google has made. It has adverts which are chosen based on what the words in your email say. The adverts are text-only and are shown at the edge of the page. Adverts are only shown to gmail users and are not sent to external addresses.

You can send documents or images (attachments) of up to 10 MB each.

One of the biggest new things about Gmail is that it sorts your emails in "Conversation view". With this, your emails are sorted into conversations, so all your emails on one topic are together -- the original email, the reply to it, and so on. This makes it easier to see what was talked about in the emails you read before. However, because Gmail has to guess which emails go together, it can get it wrong, and put the wrongs one together, or not put some where they should go (this rarely happens anymore).

Another change is that emails are given "labels". An email can have more than one label. This lets you look at all emails with that label at the same time. You can add the labels yourself, or Google can add them automatically (this is done by filters, which you can create and adjust).

History of Gmail

Google first told people about Gmail on April 1, 2004. This is April Fool's Day, a day when many people play tricks, so people thought it might be a joke. Google said it was not a trick. They did play a trick that day, but that was about sending people to work on the moon, not about Gmail. Later, people realized Gmail was not a trick, and people really could use it.

A lot of people said negative (bad) things about Gmail at first. They did not like Gmail's "terms of use". Google did not say that they would delete all the emails if the person who had been sent them asked for this. Later, Google explained what they meant and said they would delete them.

Some people are worried about privacy. Because adverts will be based on the text in your emails, this might mean the people who pay for the adverts can see what was written.

Gmail References

- Guardian Website Article
- MSNBC Article
- BBC Article about Gmail Privacy

Gmail Resources

- GmailUsers.com
- GmailWiki.com
- Official Gmail Web Site

See also:
Gmail Users Home Page




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