How Gmail Was Born & What Was Its Original Name

By: MRT Desk

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Did you know that Gmail was called “Caribou”? We tell the history of this e-mail service that everyone uses and explain why it is popular.

The Story of Gmail

Today, we use many services on the internet as if they have always existed, and we can quickly access any information we are looking for. For example, from a site like, we can learn which are the most advantageous gambling bonuses in seconds. But there was a time when things weren’t always like that. So much so that even something as simple as sending an email was far from practical. All that changed with the advent of Gmail and emails suddenly became the default method of communication. So, who invented Gmail, and what was the idea behind it? In this article, we answer these questions.

It Was Called Caribou Once

We’ve been using Gmail since 2004, but it came out as an idea in 2001. Paul Buchheit, who worked as a Google developer in those years, did not like to use Hotmail or Yahoo for communication. This was because their interface was coded in plain HTML: every button clicked caused the server to load the entire interface from scratch, which was not a practical experience at all. By using a combination of JavaScript and HTML, Buchheit decided to change that and develop an interface that didn’t need to be reloaded every time: the technique he used is called AJAX today. Buchheit called his project “Caribou”.

According to the opinion of Tony Sloterman, the Product Owner of Casino Bonuses Finder company, “This was a revolutionary change. Hotmail and Yahoo were the biggest names in the industry, but both were far from practical. They were almost completely useless if you had 56k speed internet. Gmail changed that and created an email service that could work independently of connection speed. This popularity is one of the reasons why every online service today, including online casinos, offers subscription services via email: people could get a Gmail address and start using it in seconds.”

Storage Space or Everyone

Gmail was used only by Google employees for internal communication between 2001 and 2004. Each account had 1GB of storage space so that employees can share files. This would be available to end-users later on and would eliminate the problem of emails being deleted as there is no more storage space left. Although the project was originally called “Caribou”, it was decided to name it “Gmail” to avoid copyright issues. This would later turn out to be a more erroneous decision because:

  • In Germany, the domain was already registered. Google had to use the domain for Germany (this continued until 2012).
  • The same was true for Poland. A group of young writers, abbreviated as GMAİL, had already registered this domain name.
  • In Russia, was already used by a courier service.
  • Even in the United Kingdom, the domain name had to be used for the same reason.

After its launch in 2004, Gmail has become very popular for two reasons. The first of these was the ease of use, as explained above. Compared to other email services, it loaded much faster. The second reason was free storage. In 2004, services like Yahoo and Hotmail were only giving their users between 5MB and 15MB of space and were selling more for money. Gmail, on the other hand, made a real revolution with 1 GB of free storage. That’s why it’s still popular today: all other email services try to emulate Gmail, but no one can compete with Google in terms of ease of use, practical features, and storage space.

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