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Gmail Celebrates Two Decades



Google's email provider, Gmail, turns 20 years old today, with an estimated 1.2 billion people worldwide using the free service, which has since become part of a suite of other products.


Gmail was launched as an invitation-only beta offering on April Fools' Day in 2004 before being widely released in 2007. Gmail was created by Google developer Paul Buchheit after a Google user lamented over existing email services at the time, particularly about their speed, limited storage space, and inability to properly search through information. The press release for the service was initially met with skepticism as Google was known for cracking April Fools' jokes (see list), including announcing the fake intelligence-boosting drink Google Gulp.


Gmail became the world's most popular email provider by 2012, overtaking Outlook, Yahoo Mail, and more (see animated chart). As of last year, Gmail accounts for roughly 30% of the global market share for email clients, behind Apple's 58% share. 


Read about Gmail's history here

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