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Google Gmail is no joke after all...

Very sweet indeed.  I'd be interested in knowing how they are going to pull this off and still make it economically feasible.

Someone could make a pretty nice business if they offered automated mail forwarding from hotmail/yahoo accounts to gmail.

Crimson
Monday, April 05, 2004

http://www.fury.com/

Kevin Fox is an HCI guy who used to work at Yahoo! (worked on the instant messenger UI).  He was hired by Google to work on the interface for Gmail and has posted some information, albeit somewhat sparse.

As for making money, Google's Ads (targeted and keyed into the text of your emails) will appear on roughly every 3rd page of emails.  The potential for revenue is high for Google.

Lou
Monday, April 05, 2004

What makes you guys think making money is the main aim?

Haven't you ever wondered why Yahoo and Hotmail offer so little storage? Yahoo actually went down by 33% even though the cost of storage has decreased near a hundred fold since its inception.

The answer of course is that they are hoping to drive you towards either the paid version or the ad-driven POP3 version for Yahoo.

Both Yahoo and MS are threatening to revamp their alternative to Google on the search engine front, so it makes good sense for Google to hit them below the waterline and destroy their revenue from free email, and fire a parting shot across the bows at the same time.

Stephen Jones
Monday, April 05, 2004

"""What makes you guys think making money is the main aim?"""

Because it's capitalism?  Making money is _always_ the aim when you have investors.


Monday, April 05, 2004

Yea, but you can make a lot more money after you've bankrupted the competitiors :)

Stephen Jones
Monday, April 05, 2004

Remember google is one of the few (the only?) sites that make money off targetted advertising.

The way they'll make money is to index your inbox (and possibly outbox), then send you targetted ads.  Have a buddy with a gbox?  Send em links to viagra, gay porn, warez, kiddy porn, bomb making instructions, etc.  They'll love you for it!

Snotnose
Monday, April 05, 2004

Also remember that email is still mainly text which is very compressible so Google may be giving you a gig of data but the storage needed even if you fully filled that gig will be from 100megs (best) to 1gig (worst) per user.  Overall I would expect that there would be no problem with having 10-100 users per physical gig of hard drive space, with smart software managing the overlapping of drives.

O Canader
Monday, April 05, 2004

They compress it even more when they detect several people have a copy of the same message.  Save the actual message once, then everyone else gets a pointer to it.

So don't worry your pointy little heads about spam filling up Google's disks.

Snotnose
Monday, April 05, 2004

What's not clear to me from reading the site is how these ads are integrated. Are they appended to the bottom of every outgoing message like Yahoo/Hotmail, or do your messages go out normally but you see related ads when you are reading your messages?

  --Josh

JWA
Monday, April 05, 2004

--"Also remember that email is still mainly text"---

I've mentioned this in another post but people who will use Gmail for extra storage are likely to use it for keeping their photos and videos, which won't be compressible.

Stephen Jones
Monday, April 05, 2004

The screenshots seem to show that the ads are in the email client, not appended to the messages. That's a big advantage to me, probably even more than the gig of storage.

  --Josh

JWA
Monday, April 05, 2004

They might offer a gig of email storage, but they are probably banking on the expectation that 99% of users won't use as much as 10% of that.  After all, my ISP offers 10MB but I haven't even used half that space.

It's just like those cellphone plans that offer 3000 night and weekend minutes.  Most people don't even use 10% of it, but the company would be dead if even half their customers used the full quota.

T. Norman
Monday, April 05, 2004

All that space is nice, but have they offered an indication of maximum size for each email? My ISP cuts off at 4 megs, and that's more annoying for me than anything.

Nigel
Monday, April 05, 2004

But they are not the first! The business logic of the whole jing-bang may be experienced first hand at the Mac Users joint, Spymac.com

KayJay
Monday, April 05, 2004

Maybe I'm wrong to worry about this. But let's say some spammer sends you mail which gets through the gmail filters and as a result you get an ad for some website which he just happens to own...


Tuesday, April 06, 2004

O Canader and Snotnose make very good points regarding the compressibility of text emails, which is something that seemed obvious to me but I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere.

What about attachments, though?  A big part of my email, space-wise, is probably virus attachments, which are less compressible.  And with 1GB of storage, people are definitely gonna be less-than-vigilant when it comes to cleaning out their mail on a regular basis....  :P

John Rose
Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Those "virus" attchments will, I wager 3 to 1,  be with attached with at least a million emails, if not more. So Big G will have to store just one copy and the remaining 999,999 as dword-pointers, which adds only a 4 MB overhead.

KayJay
Tuesday, April 06, 2004

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