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Which popular service was originally considered April Fool's joke?



  The original Gmail logo
Google

Answer: Gmail

Looking back at the present, where Gmail is the most popular e-mail service in the world, it seems almost implausible that it was considered a bit foolish at its introduction as a mockery.

Unplausible, that is, until you realize that Google launched the service on April 1

, 2004 as a beta product. For a brief moment the whole world was incredulous about the idea that the search giant got into the mail business and wrote off the whole thing as a tech-centered April Fool's joke. If this does not look like an April Fool's joke, then you should consider the context at that time. The leading free email provider was Hotmail, and a free account was allocated a tiny 2MB of free storage space. (Yes, you read that right, 2MB, little more space than a 1.44MB floppy disk with 3.5-inch drives.)

The announcement from Gmail, written in a light-hearted Jokey language Those who could expect a joke said these free accounts would come with 1GB of storage, a lot of free space that was completely unknown at the time. You can understand that people were more than a little unbelieving that Google was suddenly offering an email service with 500 times more storage space than its competitors. To put it in perspective, it's as if today a company has emerged to compete with Google and offered 7.5 terabytes of storage for its free account.

However, everyone quickly became sober and entered the Internet An exclusive invitation service that offered more space and more features than the competition was a big focus for many geeks over the next few months around the world. While getting a Gmail account today is no big deal, getting in and using your sparse invitations to help your friends create a Gmail account was a big deal back then.


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