Gmail was first released on April 1st, 2004 and was originally created by Paul Buchheit. At the time, Gmail’s competitors were email services such as Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail whose sites were fairly slow because they were both written in plain HTML, which caused the server to reload the entire webpage for every action. However, Gmail was able to get around this by integrating advanced search capabilities which gave an opportunity to users of letting them keep their emails forever instead of deleting them when they reached their storage limit. Also, Gmail gave users 1 GB of free space compared to the 2-4 MB of space that was standard at the time. Then, exactly one year later, Gmail increased the inbox size to 2 GB and adding features like formatted editing. Which allowed Google to advertise Gmail as a 2 GB email service. Today, there are around 1 billion people who have a Gmail account and users are allowed 15 GB of free space; and able to receive emails up to 50 MB in size.
Some of the forces that contributed to Gmail’s evolution were innovations such as the smartphone and WiFi. Google has released a mobile app version of Gmail, which allowed users to check their Gmail from their phones and able to run Java applications. And with the help of free public WiFi, people could check their Gmail where ever there is a WiFi connection. Nowadays, Gmail is now more integrated with the majority of Google. For example, Google has connected Gmail to Google, Google+, Google Drive, and Youtube. This allows the user to have the same account for anything Google, which in turn simplifies having to remember five different passwords.
Web 2.0 technologies allowed Gmail to evolve and let people to connect and interact easier, faster, and better. Gmail is a Web 2.0 service because it is a modern and ever evolving technology that allows people to connect with one another while integrating its other Google features that optimizes the users experience of everything, Google.