Gmail’s 10th Anniversary: Its 3 Greatest Contributions

Celebrating Gmail's 10th AnniversaryFrom Day 1, Gmail has had a palpable distain for the status quo. Experimentation and user-centricity are the central pillars of the service, which has consistently been home to marketers’ most desirable subscribers and has regularly given marketers fits and sleepless nights.

Beginning as an invitation-only service on Apr. 1, 2004, Gmail’s dedication to experimentation has been truly epic. But there are three areas of contribution I think are particularly noteworthy:

1. Inbox Bifurcation: Since its creation, the email inbox has followed the rule of “last in on top,” which meant that the most recently received email had the most prominent placement at the top of the inbox. This simplistic hierarchy has never sat well with Gmail, which knew that delivery time was a secondary value indicator.

2. Social Integration: While social has taken a backseat to mobile lately, it’s still having a significant effect on inboxes, with much more to come.

3. Interaction Flow Disruption: The classic email interaction model says that a recipient first engages with the envelope content (from name, subject line, and snippet text), then the body content of the email, and then the landing page. Gmail has taken aim at this paradigm as well.

For my full thoughts on Gmail’s 10th anniversary—as well as those of Carlo Catajan, Andrea Smith, Tom Sather, and Julie Brown—please…

>> Read “Celebrating Gmail’s 10th Anniversary”

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