Gmail has been around for twenty years

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Gmail turns twenty years old on Monday. Google's email service was released in beta on April 1, 2004, with a then-unthinkable amount of storage. Today, Gmail has an estimated 1.8 billion active email accounts.

Gmail distinguished itself from other email services at the time by offering 1GB of free storage space, where competitors such as Hotmail and Yahoo Mail only offered a few MBs. made available. Manually deleting messages to free up storage became a thing of the past for many people.

In addition, Google made it possible for users to quickly find emails thanks to its search engine expertise. Related emails were also grouped, giving users a better overview of sent and received messages.

In the beginning, Gmail could only be used by invitation. The exclusivity meant that invitations to the service were at one point sold for $250 each on eBay, writes the American news agency AP. Gaining access to the e-mail service has become easier over the years. In February 2007, Gmail was opened to everyone.

When Gmail was announced, many thought it was an April Fool's joke. The service offered 250 to 500 times the storage space of other email services. Gmail now offers 15 times as much free storage: 15GB. This storage is shared with Google Photos and Google Drive.

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