Social networks come and go, instant messaging appear and then disappear. But the email is different. This form of online communication is there since the early days of the Internet and bravely resists the ravages of time. Because? There are several reasons but the main one is the fact that email is the most personal space you have on the internet.
If the matter is relevant, you store the message to refer to it in the future if necessary. If not, you simply throw the mail away. You do not need to reply to a message that just arrived immediately. And if there is something important to be sent to someone, email is always a safe option of sending. Anyway, it’s all under your control.
It is true that the email has been synonymous with chaos. In a not too distant past, and spam messages containing malware flooded our inboxes. But email has evolved: advanced filters and sophisticated algorithms can block the vast majority of these traps.
The technology has also improved the organization of our messages. Today there are automatic tags, for example, that make find any stored email, no matter the date of the message. To complete, few people have to worry about space: today, e-mail services offer several gigabytes for storage.
The watershed was Gmail. Officially, the service came on 1 April 2004. It had everything to be one of those April Fool’s Day pranks of the Google traditionally does, but it was not. Its main attraction was just the generous space for data storage: 1 GB for free (for the record, today the service offers 15GB free).
At that time, email services offered inboxes with only 1 MB, 2 MB or 10 MB. We had to download the messages to the PC using software like Outlook Express, otherwise the inbox was full.
Another innovation brought by Gmail interface was clean but extremely functional. It was there, for example, that arose threads, form of organization that groups the replies to a message by creating a list of conversation.
But it was not only Gmail that made history. Who does not remember the Hotmail? The service started in 1996 as a free webmail. This was an important feature: at that time, most people had no computer at home; It was important to have an email account that could be accessed by the browser from the office computer, for example.
This pioneering did Hotmail gain much popularity, so much so that just over a year after its launch, the service was purchased by Microsoft, a deal estimated at $ 400 million.
In the following years, Hotmail remained popularity, but the service could not keep up the pace of innovation brought by Gmail and other competitors. Microsoft needed to reformulate it completely and so did: in July 2012 was born the Outlook.com. In 2013, all Hotmail accounts had already been migrated to the new service – but today you can use the address @ hotmail.com, is noteworthy.
It was a very welcome change. The Outlook.com has a very clean and intuitive interface. You is not lost when using it: everything is within reach of a few clicks (or touches) or the web version, is the mobile service apps.
It would be unfair to talk about pioneering without mentioning Yahoo Mail. The service appeared in 1997, also as a webmail, just not “from scratch”: at that time, Yahoo had to respond urgently to the success of Hotmail and made acquiring the main rival of this, the rocketmail.
The transition from rocketmail to Yahoo Mail was not easy. But the effort was worth it. Yahoo’s email service has become well known worldwide. Such popularity has had a curious effect: there were so many accounts created new users were having trouble finding a login name. Because of that, Yahoo made a “housecleaning” in service in 2013. In the process, user names of inactive accounts for more than one year were released to other interested parties.
Having so long existence, Yahoo Mail had to go through several redesigns to face the rivals. Most of them also happened in 2013, when the service has gained a much more practical interface and now offers for free 1 TB of space.
In Brazil there are also traditional email services, most of them linked to providers. The UOL, for example, offers its subscribers of their packages inboxes starting at 11 GB capacity, but there is a specific plan paid for emails that offers 100 GB.
In the IG, the iGMail offers several plan options. The most complete of them offer 50GB of space, antivirus and even phone support. The Earth, in turn, has a paid email service that brings, among other things, four additional accounts with 5GB of capacity each. The master account comes with 20 GB of space.
So many options show how the email continues – and will continue – to be an important tool. We change the form of use, but does not fail to use it: today, you probably prefer to use WhatsApp or Facebook to send a message to a friend, but it’s by email you will receive dockets, flight confirmations, newsletters and so on.
Maybe one day we find a replacement, but there is no hurry for this: email is a universalized communication tool that works without complex and always evolving appropriate: large inboxes, intuitive interfaces and advanced algorithms against spam are there to show that the email is old, but did not stop in time.