When Google first began offering its free e-mail service in 2004, the tech company did some things differently, such as ignoring periods in users’ email addresses. So if you were the musician will.i.am and you wanted that punctuation in your personal Gmail address -- email@example.com, for example -- Gmail wouldn’t recognize the periods. You could just as successfully send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Gmail also doesn’t make a distinction between lowercase and capital letters in addresses.
Dots also don’t matter in Facebook addresses. But periods are recognized by Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo Mail and Apple iCloud -- as well as organizations and businesses that use the Gmail platform with their own domain name.
One billion strong and growing:
- Google picked April 1st as the date for Gmail’s launch. Some assumed that the announcement -- which offered users an unheard of 1 GB of storage -- was just another Google prank.
- Gmail was originally referred to by its code name: Caribou.
- As of February 2016, Gmail is the most widely used web-based email provider. More than 1 billion people use it worldwide.