Gmail Hits 1 Billion Monthly Active Users

Gmail Hits 1 Billion Monthly Active Users

It's not just WhatsApp that boasts of more than one billion active users. Google announced on Monday that its email client, Gmail, is also used by more than one billion active users worldwide.

At Alphabet's earnings call on Monday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai shared the news with investors and media, adding that Gmail hit the milestone last quarter. To recall, Gmail had 900 million active users as of May 2015.

Launched in beta in 2004, Gmail has slowly grown to become a household name, with millions of users using it for their personal use, and thousands of businesses relying on Google's service for email. Google removed the beta label from its Gmail client in 2009. Pichai says that there has been a rapid mobile growth in the usage of Gmail.

Over the years, Google has been working on improving the email experience for users. Its filtering has gotten better, and Gmail also sorts the spam, marketing, promotions, and personal emails quite efficiently. Gmail has also become elegant to look at, embracing Material Design, the new design language the company announced with Android Lollipop in 2014.

Also in the same year, Google launched Inbox by Gmail, an email client aimed at making it easier for users to avoid bogus emails and achieve "Inbox Zero," an idea to stay on top of every email that has been sent to you. The app does so, among other ways, by allowing users to quickly dismiss emails using gestures.

Last year, Google announced Smart Reply, a feature for Inbox that allows users to quickly and easily respond with automatically-generated suggested messages. Pichai said on Monday that nearly 10 percent of all responses by users of Inbox by Gmail are being done via Smart Reply.

Gmail joins the league of Google Search, Android, Chrome, YouTube, Google Play, and Google Maps, the other services from the Mountain View-based company that boast of more than one billion monthly active users.

To talk about Gmail's competitors, Outlook had more than 420 million users as of 2013. Microsoft hasn't shared new data since. Yahoo Mail had more than 281 million users as of 2012. Yahoo too hasn't shared new stats since.


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