GoogleGuy's Take on Gmail
With April Fools Day over, Google talks straight about Gmail. There is not much new here, except perhaps the first testimonial of an actual Gmail user.
"Googleguy, what's your opinion on this? ;-)"
(This is of course all just my personal opinion.)
Okay, it's April 2nd, so it seems fair to say now that Gmail is for real. Expect to see
1,000 megabytes of storage
search over the contents of your email
relevant/unobtrusive ads on the side of the page
I've been using various versions of Gmail for a while now, and I love it. I'm a huge data packrat--I save all my email--and it's changed the way that I work. Whenever I used to get an important email, I'd have to save it off somewhere special, or else later do a very painful and long grep over years of email to find what I wanted. Now I only need to remember a few words from the email and a quick search brings it up. I never realized how valuable my email was until I had a great search over it. Just like Google did with web search, our search over email is going to improve the quality of life for a lot of people.
About showing ads on the side of the page: Google has long had a different philosophy about advertising than many companies. Back when many search engines were bombarding users with off-topic banner ads, Larry and Sergey were emphasizing that the ads could be as useful as the regular search results sometimes. The more relevant the ads were, the better the user would like them. For example, it's not just how much someone is willing to pay, but also how high the AdWords clickthrough is that determines in what slot an ad shows. I think the ads that we show are going to be strictly better than annoying banner ads, flashy pop-ups, and other ads that you can't ignore. And I think they're going to be pretty handy for users.
If you take a step back, I think Google has done a lot to improve the relevance of web search and the quality of advertising on the web over the last five years. I'm looking forward to us doing the same thing with email. I'm glad that folks here are mindful of privacy issues; I believe people will find that we are working for our users' interests with Gmail just like we do everywhere else.
Okay, this is getting long and I have to go to a meeting. :)
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