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Gmail Doubling Capacity To 2 Gigabytes

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.

From Reuters:

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?

April 1st, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Gmail, Email, General | 8 comments

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  1. Sign out from your Gmail account and watch Gmail’s front page. You’ll see a counter that shows just how many MB of storage you have.
    You also see an “infinity+1″ April’s Fools joke.

    Comment by Noam | April 1, 2005

  2. I’m at 1291.

    Comment by Scott | April 1, 2005

  3. I looked at the javascript and the counter is just going up at a specific rate based on the time. Therefore it’s safe to assume this is just a gimmick and everyone already has 2GB.

    Comment by Jason | April 1, 2005

  4. When it comes to free storage, this certainly sounds incredibly interesting - it is getting better. But I regret to say that Google’s idea of infinite storage isn’t new.

    In Germany there is a free-mail provider called - they are very popoluar, especially as they offer much value added services. In the beginning they did things for free, now they do some services for free and offer more and better, if you do join their “club”.

    If you are a club member, you get 4 GB of storage space immediately, which (if reached) will be increased at 1GB a month free of charge. Well free of charge is misleading here, as you need to be a club member and that’ll set you back 5 Euros per month… but truly I wonder when GMail will start to think about charging….

    From what I hear their logic is that only very few people will actually reach this level of storage space, but it gives the user an awful good feeling about the service.

    Comment by CW | April 1, 2005

  5. The counter is still going (2050). Like Jason said, there’s no limit set for the counter. Wonder would the actual limit go beyond 2GB…

    Comment by Ian L | April 2, 2005

  6. Took a look at the JavaScript myself on April Fool’s and the counter was originally set to run for 18 hours and go up to 2050, at which point it would stop and just display “Over 2000 MB”.

    Now they’ve got a new script and it’s set to run until Sat, 2005-04-09 16:00:00 GMT, at which point it’ll say “Over 2075 megabytes.” (50 milliseconds before that the counter should read “2074.999998 megabytes”). So maybe they plan on adding 25MB a week, or around 1.25 GB per year. Sounds all right to me. :D

    Comment by Stu | April 2, 2005

  7. One GB/yr sounds good now, but what’re the odds that next year there could be an enormous jump? Or that it won’t be as fashionable (in a googly sort of way) to brag about your free email storage space?

    What really incredibly unexpected thing could be more important than ESS (email storage space) next year?


    Comment by "-" | April 3, 2005

  8. […] Two years ago this Sunday, Google introduced two gigabytes of email storage for Gmail, with the amount of storage ticking up slowly, what they called their “Infinity + 1″ system. The idea was that since the counter went up continuously, you really had near-infinite storage. It was a great idea, except for one thing: Infinity + 1 implies better than inifinity, but it’s not. […]

    Pingback by » Yahoo Mail Does Infinity In Practice, Not Just In Theory » InsideGoogle » part of the Blog News Channel | March 29, 2007

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