Gmail invites no longer required to create an email account

On April 1, 2004, Google introduced its free email service to the world: Gmail. From the very beginning, there were many special things about the gmail service. All free email accounts came with 1GB of storage space, which was a hundred times more than what was provided at the time by popular email services, primarily Hotmail and Yahoo. mail.

gmail was announced on april fools day and everyone thought the 1gb offer was a nerdy joke from google. The service also promised to be free of distracting flash and image ads – Gmail ads were relevant text ads. and this created quite a stir on the web because gmail’s “reading” of email content was considered by many to be a violation of privacy; which was complete nonsense, as I detail in the gmail privacy article.

However, the most interesting aspect of the service’s launch was the required for gmail invitations without which you couldn’t create an email account. These special invites can only be obtained from existing Gmail account holders or Google employees; I guess every google employee got a gmail account when the service was launched. so if i needed to create a gmail account i had to contact a gmail user and request an invite. invitations were usually sent by email and you had to follow the link sent in the message to get a gmail address.

as google rightly guessed, a free email account with 1gb of storage space would have everyone clamoring for one. In the early days, Google allowed existing account holders to send only a limited number of invitations, and this led to more interest in the free email service. At one point, gmail invites were so highly regarded that they were selling on online auction sites like for over $100 each.

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why did google launch gmail via invites?

There are many theories as to why google chose to launch gmail via invites. web marketers hailed it as a great way to generate a lot of interest in the service while keeping things relatively hidden. invites were considered by data analysts to be the best method for collecting many “meaningful” email addresses. remember that the invitations were sent by email. There was also some wild speculation that Google was trying to “make money” by selling invites on auction sites.

Anyway, I welcome Google’s explanation of the requirement for gmail invites. the company wanted to test and monitor the free email service with a gradual increase in the user base. opening gmail to everyone from the start would probably have caused a server crash and thus a huge embarrassment for google.

gmail now open – no invitation

In early 2007, gmail account holders could send 100 invites each day and google decided to remove the “special invite only” tag from gmail; now gmail was open to everyone. You no longer need an invitation to create a gmail account. just go to the home page of the service or read the step-by-step instructions with helpful screenshots on this website.

At the time of this writing, gmail is still tagged beta, which means the service isn’t fully developed yet, and I’m not sure why that is because it works so well! good!

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gmail invites still available

for reasons better known to google (the email address harvesting theory, above? -smirk), gmail invites are still available. if you log in to your account (you can create one without an invitation, as mentioned above), you can see 100 invitations ready to send. this number, presumably, is replenished every day. just enter your friend’s email address and ask them to join you in the world’s best email service.

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