Jun 112004

Gmail – I Don’t Get It

I honestly don’t get all the buzz about Gmail, Google’s new email service. I took a look at it today to see what the the big deal was.

It’s got a few features which are marginally better than other webmail services, but not too many and not massively better. The free storage is not a big issue for most users, although it may cause a few power users to switch over. The most interesting feature in my mind is the ability to use Google Search on your own email file, which is very useful.

All in all, it’s a good product, but all these people talking about how 30mm people are going to switch over to it must be seeing something I don’t. My prediction (and I’ll happily and publicly acknowledge defeat if I am misreading this) is that they will get a few million new users initially, many for a second or third address as opposed to their primary address, and that many of them won’t stick with it to become active users over a longer period of time. After that, they’ll grow at the same rate, with the same type of characteristics, as Yahoo, Hotmail, and other webmail providers.

Email and email addresses, unlike search engines, are pretty sticky things.

Filed under: Email

Tags: , , ,

  • http://www.abnerdesign.com Erik Peterson

    I would agree that email addresses are sticky. However, I think that this would be more a reason to switch to gmail than a deterrent. Anyone who has used Hotmail can relate with the frustration felt when one has to choose messages to delete because they are close to the storage limit imposed on the free accounts. Is that receipt from a purchase a year ago really necessary? How about that email from an old friend? Or the photos of grandchildren that take up 500k.

    This frustration makes the users likely to look for an email address that can be a permanent repository of their electronic mail. One where the need to value each piece relative to the amount of space it consumes is no longer present.

  • http://onlyonce.blogs.com Matt Blumberg

    True, but just as Yahoo expanded its memory for consumers, so will Hotmail if they want to stay competitive.

    That’s another point about the Gmail hype I should have mentioned in my posting…that they will force their competitors to upgrade their UIs and quality of service, which will be good generally for end users but which won’t necessarily lead to greater Gmail adoption.

  • Texan Bush Hater

    I love GMAIL. All my other email addresses are clogged with spam. So i am going to make a conscious effort to keep this account totally spam free. As far as email stickyness I am gradually phasing other email accounts and I am not rushing and forcing everyone to reach me at the new email.

    GMAIL has a cool feature that saves all email addresses directly into your contact list – which I love since I hate having to rebuild a new address book every time I get a new email address.

  • kareem khan

    i like it

  • http://www.cincinnatiwinegarage.com jens

    I have signed up but not used it yet. I thought it was a treat to get it as it is new and now I have saved my name!

  • http://www.tmarkiewicz.com Tom Markiewicz

    I have to agree. I jumped on the bandwagon and tried out a Gmail account. I just couldn’t see the appeal. To be honest, the only reason I wanted a Gmail account as soon as possible way back was to ensure the username. Even though its rough around the edges, I anticipate Google will keep trying to innovate and eventually it will become a product I’ll desire to use.

  • http://www.kamal2000.com kary

    I have to agree. I jumped on the bandwagon and tried out a Gmail account. I just couldn’t see the appeal. To be honest, the only reason I wanted a Gmail account as soon as possible way back was to ensure the username. Even though its rough around the edges, I anticipate Google will keep trying to innovate and eventually it will become a product I’ll desire to use.

  • http://cloudcase.co Andrew

    As a first-time CEO, in anticipation for your book release, i've gone back to the first of your blog and am working my way forward. It's pretty awesome to see predictions like this!

    • Matt Blumberg

      Ouch?

  • http://cloudcase.co Andrew

    No offense intended Matt!

    • Matt Blumberg

      None taken – just funny.  That said, it has taken Google a very long time to get to parity with Yahoo and Hotmail!

css.php