Google announced that it is doubling Gmail’s storage capacity to a hefty 2 gigabytes, just days after Yahoo Mail quadrupled to meet Gmail’s 1 gigabyte. Not only that, but Google says this is not the last increase, that Gmail will expand to fit user’s needs (a far cry from the other services, which stayed at a few megabytes for more than half a decade). This increase comes on the one-year anniversary of Gmail, which appeared amid much confusion (followed by enormous hype) on April 1, 2004. C|Net is calling it “a bottomless cup of storage”. As they explain, the storage space isn’t just going up, its continuing to go up every single day.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based Web giant on Friday plans to double the free storage on Gmail from 1GB to 2GB, said Georges Harik, Gmail product management director. After that, Google will add a yet-to-be-determined amount of extra storage daily, with no plans to stop.
Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) said the increase will not be the last from the company, which intends to make further free storage increases on its Web e-mail system as user needs expand.
“We plan on continuing this increase for the foreseeable future,” said Georges Harik, product management director for Gmail.
Harik said that “less than a few percent” of Gmail users are bumping up against the 1 gigabyte limit.
“We’re doing it to anticipate what our users needs are and their needs grow over time,” he said. The Web search leader did not immediately say how many Gmail accounts have been created.
“We’re hoping to remove storage as a concern for Yahoo users,” Yahoo spokeswoman Karen Mahon said of her company’s latest move.
“At a certain point beyond 1 gigabyte it just becomes a number and irrelevant to most free e-mail users,” Mahon said.
No word yet on when the beta and invite systems end. Jason Schramm notes that his account has 1059 MB of space, up from 1058 a minute earlier. At the time of this writing, my Gmail account has
1069 1071 megabytes of space.
Of course, it could be an April Fools joke, although it doesn’t fit Google’s usual tomfoolery.
UPDATE: Take a look at this “highly complicated” graph on Gmail’s front page detailing the storage increase:
Ah yes, putting those PhDs to good use…
Naom also points out in the comments there is a running counter on the front page that shows the storage increase as it happens. Anyone interested in stripping out the code so I can post it here, if possible at all?