How Google And Gmail Dominated Consumer Email

How Google And Gmail Dominated Consumer Email

Hi, I’m Gmail.
And I’m Hotmail. I have one gigabyte of
storage, which means I don’t have to keep
deleting my emails. Well, don’t you think
that deleting your emails can be
rather therapeutic? Sure, buddy. I can also
use keywords to search quickly through my email.
How about you? Well, I keep my favorite
emails in a folder. Like, uh let’s
see here, somewhere. Another moment here, sorry. Hey Hotmail, good
to see you again. Hello, Gmail. Looks like
I have 1.5 billion users now.
How about you? Well, just want to clarify,
my name is Outlook now. And let’s see, I
have a few hundred million users, but it’s not a
popularity contest, is it? No, of course not. Gmail is really dominating
that market for consumer email, which is a
bit odd because in most mature markets you have
an oligopoly of at least three players, but it
looks like Google is absolutely dominating
this market. With 1.5 billion users
worldwide, Gmail is now the most widely used email
provider in the world, but it was by
no means the first. When Gmail launched in April
of 2004, it became one of a number of
free email services alongside Hotmail and Yahoo Mail, which
were some of the first to introduce web-based
email in the 1990s. By 1998, Yahoo Mail already
had 12 million active users, and by 1999, Hotmail
had about 30 million active members. The Gmail
project came out of something called 20 percent
time, and this was something that was really
a hallmark of Google culture in the
early days. So 20 percent time
works like this. If the rest of your time,
if you took that one hundred percent and devoted 20
percent of it to a project that you were
interested in or excited about or passionate about
or wanted to chase down, that’s what
you could do. And Gmail came out of
that 20 percent time. Paul Buchheit started working
at Google in 1999 as its 23rd employee. He undertook creating Google’s
foray into the email world as his
20 percent project. At the time, the
project was codenamed “caribou,” an allusion to the
popular comic strip Dilbert. But not everyone at Google
was supportive of his vision. Even though we know
Gmail’s so big and the most used email
service, it almost didn’t happen because there were
so many arguments among executives about whether
they should actually pursue it. And it wasn’t
quite clear how Google could benefit from an
online email service when they were a search company.
One of the things that Google did was they
looked at problems as projects. So they put things
to what they called a toothbrush test. So if you were interacting
with a problem as much as you interact with
your toothbrush, then they were excited to
take that on. And email certainly fit
that bill because people used it all the time
and it was growing during this time. For something that
was use all the time, email in the early
2000s was still not very user-friendly. The first thing
Gmail set out to improve was storage. At the time, other email
providers offered up to 4 megabytes of storage. What that meant was you
had to delete, delete, delete all the time or
your storage would be full. And then if your
parents or an employer sent you an email,
it was bounced back. And the next thing you
know, your phone is ringing and someone is
saying, ‘I’m trying to email you and I
can’t get through.’ So that was the first
thing that they were going to address by offering
one gigabyte of storage. This effectively meant that
you would never have to delete email again. And this was revolutionary
at the time. So when Gmail first
released its product, it didn’t even have
a delete button. And this was to bring
home the point that you didn’t ever have to
delete an email. Ever! Gmail’s other
big improvement: search. Google offered that
signature, clutter-free look that you saw with the
Google homepage in Gmail. They also took a look
at using their search engine feature as a part of
the email so that if you wanted to find a
specific email that someone sent you on a specific
topic, it was easy. You just used the search
bar to find it. And at the time, no
one else offered that. Besides storage space and
search, Gmail also introduced a way of
grouping messages that many of us consider
standard today. Conversation threading grouped all
replies to a message in one place and
in order, making it easier to grasp the
context of a conversation. That was what Google was
all about, whether it was the search engine or
Gmail, they wanted to make it easier
for the user. When it was easier for
the user, more people bought in and adopted
this new technology. What gave Gmail some of
its capabilities was the fact that it used
a more advanced computer language called
JavaScript. What JavaScript delivered was
a much more interactive and responsive
experience for the user compared to the
competition, which was reloading each page, repainting
each page, and it was a slower process. And so JavaScript delivered
a much faster and more interactive experience
for the consumer. Gmail was launched in
2004, on April 1st. It was April Fool’s Day. So people actually thought it
was a hoax and it wasn’t real, but it was. Gmail initially launched in
a unique manner: as invite only. The reason
why Google, which turned out to be a wonderful
marketing ploy, made it exclusive and you had to apply
and try to get on the wait list for a
Gmail account is because they weren’t investing enough. They
couldn’t scale up the back end to meet demand,
and so they had to make sure that they were able
to keep up with the flow. And the only way they
could do that is to let people in
on invitation only. Gmail’s invite only rollout
made having a Gmail address a hot commodity. Some even went as far
as selling their Gmail invites on eBay. It wasn’t
until 2007 that Gmail finally launched to everyone
without an invite. Since about 2012, Gmail
has been doing exceedingly well compared
to the competition. At Google I/O 2012,
the company announced that Gmail had reached $425
million monthly active users. This put it
ahead of Hotmail’s self-reported 360 million
monthly active users and Yahoo Mail’s estimated
277 million users in 2011. At the time, there
were some disputes about the exact numbers, but
soon Gmail’s popularity became evident. In a
written statement to CNBC, Senior Director of Project
Management for Yahoo Mail, Josh Jacobson, said,
‘Gmail has seen user growth for a number
of reasons, including promotion as the default
email provider on Android devices and familiarity
driven by use in the enterprise and
education via Chromebooks.’ The main factors that have
led to the rise in popularity of Gmail. First of all, Google is
a central property on the web and so there’s
a halo effect. And so you go to Google
for YouTube and you go for Google Apps and for
search and for maps. Why not go for email? Gmail went from being an
underdog to the most used email service in the
world because it was able to incorporate a
lot of Google’s core technologies. Another example of
one of our core products, which we are
redesigning with A.I. is Gmail. We just had
a new, fresher look for Gmail, a recent redesign. Hope you’re all
enjoying using it. We are bringing another
feature to Gmail. We call it Smart Compose. So as the name suggests,
we use machine learning to start suggesting phrases for
you as you type. All you need to do is
to hit ‘tab’ and keep auto completing. Some of
Gmail’s more recent innovations include the
ability to schedule emails and Confidential
Mode, which prevents recipients from forwarding,
copying, printing or downloading your message. Though they are still
able to screenshot it. Another draw: being able to
use your Gmail sign in on other
websites and apps. When we look at ‘sign in
with,’ I mean, this is where we talk about
the competition between the digital dragons. And so you can sign
in with Facebook, you can sign in with Amazon, you
can sign in with Apple. And so the fact that you
can sign in with Google allows them to compete
head-to-head with those other digital dragons. And the fact that you can
use Gmail or Google to sign in really reinforces
the power of their control of that
consumer email market. We also see their presence
in the education space as leading to pull through
when folks select a consumer email address. And then, momentum
builds more momentum. And so as you get
tired of your old ISP-based email and you’re embarrassed
about your AOL email account, you look around and
you look at what your friends are using. And
if they’re gonna be using Gmail, you may tend
to move over to Gmail yourself. They started off
as a very innovative product and they’ve
continued to innovate. Gmail was gaining popularity fast,
but it was not all smooth sailing for
the new platform. Finding a way to monetize
Gmail had been a point of contention at
the company. Some people argued Gmail should
be a paid service from the get-go. But others
argued that in order for Gmail to have the most
reach, it needed to be ad driven. The ad revenue
model won out, but even before it launched the
general public in 2007, Google got heat for
scanning Gmail emails and using the contents
for targeted advertising. If you’re emailing someone
about, hey, let’s meet up and go sailing, and
then suddenly there was an ad for sailboat tours. It was unnerving for people
because it was so spot-on and people called
it creepy and spooky. And suddenly the headlines
were very negative for Google and for Gmail. The practice also made
some privacy groups and politicians uneasy. The year Gmail launched,
31 privacy and consumer groups sent a letter
to Google’s co-founders saying that scanning emails
for ad purposes, ‘violates the implicit trust
of an email service provider.’ Shortly after
Gmail’s launch, former California senator, Liz Figueroa,
even drafted a bill that would place
limits on the information gathered from scanning email
messages that could be shared with
third parties. The bill passed the
California State Senate, but died in the
state Assembly. It would take another 10
years after its wide public launch for Google to
commit to no longer scanning any Gmail account
for the purpose of personalizing ads. When we asked why it
took 10 years for the company to stop scanning
emails for ad purposes, a Google spokesperson emailed
CNBC directing us to this blog post. Google declined an on-camera
interview with CNBC. But this was not the
end to Google’s privacy problems. This headline just
dropping on Google that the company still
does allow other companies to scan and share
data from Gmail accounts. This according to The Journal,
citing a letter to U.S. lawmakers in which
Google says that the company does allow app
developers specifically to scan Gmail accounts. Even though, the
company, remember, itself stopped the practice for
the purpose of ad targeting last year. A month later, Google
issued new privacy policies that put limits on how
developers can use Gmail data. One of the
interesting things about Gmail is that even when
this controversy about privacy was unfolding and kind of
blowing up, more and more people started
to use it. And it was just so
much better than anything else that was out there that
that’s really when people started to say, you know,
maybe there is a privacy concern. Maybe I
am concerned about this, but this service is so
good that I’m using it anyway. Privacy became a
hot-button issue in 2018 as numerous tech
companies, including Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google
were grilled by Congress about consumer
data privacy. With Americans carrying their
phones with them virtually at all times,
doesn’t the collection of this volume of detailed
information really mean that Google is
compiling information about virtually every movement an
individual with a smartphone is making every
hour of every day today? For any service we
provide our users, we go to great lengths to
protect their privacy and we give them transparency,
choice and control. In addition to email, users
of Gmail have access to a number of
free applications, including Google Sheets, Google Docs,
Google Drive and Google Hangouts,
among others. When you have Google
Apps associated with Gmail, it’s quite sticky, right? If you’re using Google
Apps associated with Gmail, you’re probably not
going to move. Google took office tools to
the web and forced Microsoft to do the same. Microsoft Office Web Apps
became available to the general public in 2010
and included free lightweight versions of
programs like Microsoft Word, Excel
and PowerPoint. But while Outlook may trail
Gmail and Google Apps on the consumer side,
Microsoft’s business suite offering, Microsoft Office,
still reigns supreme in the $18 billion
market for business productivity tools. In more recent years, Google
has also come out with a paid version of
its online apps called G Suite. G Suite includes
all of Google’s free office tool apps, as
well as additional features such as the ability to
create a custom email domain and admin controls
that are aimed at businesses. Outlook and Gmail
are similar in the sense that they both have
free and premium tiers as well as business
tiers, but they’re different in terms of where
their sweet spots are. I would say that Outlook
is widely used within businesses and government agencies
and Gmail is more popular overall
with consumers. Microsoft Office still
holds 87.5 percent of the business
productivity tool market compared to G Suite,
which holds 10.4 percent. But Google is
working to change that. Google unveiling its first
Gmail redesign since 2013. The overhaul has a
slew of new features designed to attract businesses
to take on Microsoft’s Outlook. Google says
it now has more than 5 million paying
G Suite customers compared to Microsoft Office 365, which
has more than 200 million paying customers. I think Gmail absolutely is
coming up in the corporate world and it is
happening as Google is taking G Suite
into businesses, government agencies, schools and
saying use this. Oftentimes, use this instead
of Microsoft Office. And soon, Gmail’s revenue
stream from consumers may also get a bump. Many free users are
quickly reaching their 15 gigabyte storage limit, which
is shared between Gmail, Google Drive and
photos, and finding that they need a paid
subscription to keep everything on the cloud. 15 years
later, Gmail’s big bet on storage may really
pay off.


  • Man am on Gmail since 2006 what is this invitation scene never heard about it

  • Well, in this video Outlook/Hotmail is certainly hot, if you ask me. I only use Gmail for Google services, but for actually sending and receiving emails I use Outlook. Gmail app for Android is also lighter and faster.

  • I use Hotmail (Outlook). I don't appreciate Google's invasive and Freedom-of-speech-crushing policies.

  • 0:31 she doesnt even have a watch dammit

  • Business don't really use Outlook as a mail provider, they use Microsoft Exchange which is an entire mail server software that is licensed and sometimes also hosted by Microsoft and the Outlook desktop and mobile app as part of the Office Suite due to it being the fully featured and official Exchange client.

  • I hate the part when they include the video call thing.. The voice quality degrades and its annoying..

  • Every beginning has an END
    Every High has a Low
    So does Google and Gmail.

  • Yahoo mail forever

  • Yahoo, the company that lost it all.

  • Been using gmail since 2008!

  • 12:37 monopoly man

  • suckmysilencer747

    This says a lot about our society

  • Hotmail / Microsoft gonna be dead in the next 10 years

  • I think it is just getting used to something you already are using.

  • I started using Gmail after Microsoft locked me out of my Hotmail account…

  • Used to despise Gmail for its Conversation style grouping, now 95% of my Account is GMail… 😁

    Start to use GMail since hotmail stop providing POP3 Mail Server access, and never looked back.

  • Brittany Campbell

    HATE anything Googled!

  • I have a gmail but never use it, prefer outlook really

  • Cnbc and business insider the best youtube channels

  • Tbf, Outlook is better for work. And those hundred millions of users are probably employees from corporations.

    But outside work, I use Gmail..

  • I love Google.
    I love GMail.

  • Hotmail looks too jooooy to me.

  • Easy to use. Improving daily

  • I prefer ymail

  • One thing to realize is that Bill Gates suggested to start charging for emails, about 1 cent per email, due to dominance of Hotmail – even though they offered pesky storage options by default, like 5-10MB vs Gmail's outstanding 1GB Option which was being offered FOR FREE. Google saved email communication to remain free.

  • I still have Hotmail and Yahoo email

  • I actually recently made an AOL mail account and use Ymail to log into it. I use it for personal emails, emails I actually send to people.

    Just to get away from Google, if at least a little bit.

  • did know outlook was hotmail lmao. i feel like so many companies are switching to outlook. my university recently switched from gmail to outlook

  • How did CNBC become first in business worldwide?

  • outlook is profitable than gmail

  • Back when Google released actually good products.

  • My company has just migrated to Gsuite and it's awesome. It feels like I can access my work desktop whenever and wherever I want through my android device. Very convenient especially at those times you're out of office.

  • But gmail isn’t secure , they read all your emails phishing for private data . If it’s free you are the product

  • It's free, it's easy, and they gave you 15GB storage space for FREE!! What's not to like?

  • People claiming they still use Hotmail but Hotmail is dead. Hotmail, Live and any other Microsoft web-based email is now

  • Google dominated the email market by providing the best email services for free, the android exclusivity story is just a checkmate for the competition.

  • I love this new movement i see coming! I see people using viewer-ship
    and research for the positive of our country instead of for the
    incentive of corporations to control the mind of its viewers. When we
    stand together and notice each others flaws or vulnerabilities and truly
    use that for the good of the nation which is the strongest part of man,
    woman, or hermaphrodite. We will conquer every goal set before us, and
    status will ultimately be amounted to the integrity of that person.
    We will then be rich beyond all our wildest belief to instill
    greatness, fortitude, honesty, and real quality values for each
    individual. In turn achieving true righteousness for mankind again. I
    for one would just like a taste of this, and for all we will prosper
    because of it. For honor truly is a value that is worth privileging at
    the utmost top of society.The truth of matters will come along with it.
    We cannot take lightly in these times what obviously tries to remain
    privy to our knowledge, yet is right before our eyes if we don't allow
    ourselves to be dragged down into the dislike of it. With true cultural
    knowledge embedded we will vanquish the hate, and destroy the sectors
    that hold cause no more. That is my dream for our children, and beyond for everything re-concurring throughout all time.

  • I love this new movement i see coming! I see people using viewer-ship
    and research for the positive of our country instead of for the
    incentive of corporations to control the mind of its viewers. When we
    stand together and notice each others flaws or vulnerabilities and truly
    use that for the good of the nation which is the strongest part of man,
    woman, or hermaphrodite. We will conquer every goal set before us, and
    status will ultimately be amounted to the integrity of that person.
    We will then be rich beyond all our wildest belief to instill
    greatness, fortitude, honesty, and real quality values for each
    individual. In turn achieving true righteousness for mankind again. I
    for one would just like a taste of this, and for all we will prosper
    because of it. For honor truly is a value that is worth privileging at
    the utmost top of society.The truth of matters will come along with it.
    We cannot take lightly in these times what obviously tries to remain
    privy to our knowledge, yet is right before our eyes if we don't allow
    ourselves to be dragged down into the dislike of it. With true cultural
    knowledge embedded we will vanquish the hate, and destroy the sectors
    that hold cause no more. That is my dream for our children, and beyond for everything re-concurring throughout all time.

  • Google made it mandatory to have a Gmail account to sign into YouTube. Game changer…

  • I've been using Gmail/Google Drive/Google Business Suite for ages and I can't imagine replacing it for anything since there isn't anything that comes even close to its quality and functionality.

  • Apple is a criminal syndicate. So the world sucks now.

  • Google "Alphabet" is an advertising company. I am not quite sure why anyone would trust their important information with them.
    Microsoft on the other hand is a business company, protecting privacy is their business.

  • I have changed my job thrice and all of them use Outlook.

  • Whole Food Plant-Based Man

    Gmail is a lot hotter than Hotmail/Outlook.

  • Hold up. There was once a time where you had to delete emails? And you couldn't search through them?!

  • Wealthbuilderz TV

    Gmail was like a bully that took everybody else’s lunch money

  • Gmail makes the first choice for setting up your personal Email account, but when it comes to work Email Outlook should be a better solution.
    One thing I find Outlook better is the speed. Gmail as it’s running on browsers requires internet connection to open and can load quite slow when there’s connection issue or no loading at all when network’s down. Outlook on the other hand can run on its own app in Window which opens and loads faster. You can re-open received Emails even when you’re offline. Corporate clients love them

  • ProtonMail anyone?

  • Yahoo mail becomes popular among hipsters recently

  • RedLight GreenArrow

    I’m probably the only person on earth who does not use Gmail. I use my own domain!

  • well they force you to create a google account when signing up for the google play store so that’s another reason why

  • I prefer Outlook than Gmail

  • Whole Food Plant-Based Man

    Hey CNBC,

    Now do Google Photos.


  • You know when you check that watch you dont have

  • This video could have been about 4 minutes long without the useless commentary from the girl who sounds like she's confused about what she's even talking about…

  • I stopped using yahoo because it was very slow to receive mails

  • Movies, sitcoms, ads, reporting… the man is [always] the idiot.

  • Not just consumer email they are gaining on corporate world too

  • One of the reasons is probably forcing Android users to create a Gmail account in order to use their phones. Just look at how many people are using android phones, It was only a matter of time to dominate the market. But it seemed to work for them.

  • I hate conversation threading in gmail. I have accidentally deleted emails because of it. Tie-in them together like how older email software clients did it. I that way you get the best of both worlds. You get to see the history, but they are separate options. Then you have the way they do folders. A good idea, but makes cumbersome.

    It is like using it fisher price tool.

  • Signing in with one user name is a very risky idea in terms of data security. If your google account is ever compromised. That means somebody has total access to anything on the ecosystem. This is stupid.

    Again, not a bad idea, but not something I would suggest.

  • Avneesh Singh Tomar

    Then Google starts CHARGING people for their apps.
    Ad Free YouTube Premium 💰
    Gmail Space 💰💰

  • G suit is so much better than office 365

  • At the time I was first creating an email in 2011, I chose gmail because:
    1. Yahoo toolbar made me not trust Yahoo
    2. Hotmail sounded inappropriate
    3. My teachers said my professional email should be gmail
    4. Never heard of outlook

  • The Google monopoly is getting near

  • Proton mail for me

  • #TeamTrees

  • Really innovative!

  • I'm all in support for google trying to dismantle the extortionate Microsoft Office monopoly. Untill both of them get a monopoly and it will be time to jump on the 3rd company, and so on.

  • 3:59 From: nOT the pOLICE
    Subject: We have the drugs!

  • Vinayakrishnan Adiyodi Veedu

    Final 2 minuts of video really worthy . Quality documentary in the end

  • i use to have an sbcglobal email, but after not being able to use google exclusive apps i switched everything to gmail

  • Nathaniel12345678910

    Gmail is not the largest! Yahoo and Hotmail and Yandex is.

  • Why is there a female when we are talking about Mails..
    I am Dad

  • Mr GoodLatte. Is the coffee good?

  • Gmail grew because you basically can’t get most things done online without a google account these days. Just using a smartphone (Android) requires a gmail account 🙄🙄.

  • I still prefer not using GMail.
    My opinion is that Gmail gets popular by the Android Phone with Google Account.

  • yahoo is my important email. gmail is what I use the sign up for junk

  • A world without google is a world where google doesnt exist at all. Just my thoughts.

  • Doesn't this guy @06:49 looks like Gavin Belson?

  • I use yahoo because I don't want to change my email address. 1.5 billion gmail users. Doesn't mean 1.5 billion people are using it. I have a gmail account because it's included in my Android account. I use Android account for my phone contact. I never use the gmail account.


  • because google makes better email system lol and its freeeeee

  • Go to 12:37– Guy with fake white mustache and bowler hat!!! Can you see him? I wonder why he is there…

  • I was one of the first gmail users, I’ve never looked back

  • The only reason I have an Outlook is because my college uses them for our emails

  • I’d rather pay for google storage over iCloud storage and I use an iPhone

  • I got Gmail in middle school because all of my friends were using hangouts and that required a Gmail

  • I basically have all the google apps on my iPhone I love them all- they make everything so simple and I feel like I can trust them with personal info. I even feel like switching to the Pixel phone that’s how much I like Google…

  • 1 email –> 10Kb

  • got rid of gmx, moved to protonmail

  • Gmail is widely used, but it is not an "official" use.

  • The user experience when dealing with google products is pleasant. The search option for Gmail was life changing for me as someone who dealt with high volume of emails.

    On the other hand Yahoo mail works but it was lacking. Even before the security breach, the product seemed clunky, as if it was ready to fall apart.

  • North Eastern Roberts

    Rip AOL

  • The beginning of this is so lame

  • I can't imagine my life without gmail. Without it how can I find hot single mother near my location or win millions of dollars without entering a contest. I can't even know my taxes are due and America's IRS is watching me even though I live in a different country. Gmail is a lifeline

  • The only people that use Outlook are people that have accounts through school or work.

  • You know where gmail isn't popular?


  • That was really cringey

  • LOL, just got warning that my G-Mail is near the storage limit: They seem to cap at 17Gb (shared between G-Mail + Google Drive) now.

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