Jun 28, 2004
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Fact #1: Gmail is still officially in test mode, but Google just doubled the number of invitations a tester can send at a time -- six now, instead of three.
Fact #2: Some people, including the WSJ's Tim Hanrahan and Jason Fry, are delighting that Gmail invitations don't have the same 'cool' factor, not to mention cash value, they used to because they're not as rare as they were. Another sign that Gmail is in a soft rollout, soft enough not to violate Google's quiet period before its IPO but active enough to build up a good database of names before it launches.
Fact #3: It's taking Gmail's tech staff longer to reply to complaints. Two weeks ago, an answer to a thorny problem arrived in 12 hours. Now, Gmail is taking even longer than Yahoo! to send a tech response, and it's just about as useful.
We posted a problem a MarketingSherpa reader was having using a Gmail invitation we sent her on June 21. The answer came 1 week and 4 hours later, with no reference to my specific complaint but with an apology for the delayed response and an explanation: "Gmail is experiencing rapid growth. We have been working hard to keep pace with the popularity of our service while we respond to each individual message. Thank you for your patience."
The user inbox still shows the "beta" tag along with the Gmail logo, but as far as we're concerned, Gmail's here.
Take a moment to find out exactly how many Gmail addresses are in your database now. A few weeks ago, probably none. Today, maybe a few. Tomorrow, who knows?