The History of Email: Consider it a birthday party. Consider this your golden anniversary. We’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of email by taking a look back at its development. There are many fascinating tales and ground-breaking innovations in the history of email. In the timeline below, we’ve highlighted 24 significant turning points from the previous 50 years. Explore email history by scrolling through the slideshow as you go back in time. Continue reading to learn more about the evolution of email.

1971: The Year Email Was Created

The majority of people credit Ray Tomlinson as the creator of email. He developed the concept while working on ARPANET, the federally supported research initiative that gave rise to the internet. The only persons you could leave messages for at the time were those using the same computer. On the ARPANET network, Tomlinson wrote a program that allowed users to communicate with other linked computers.

The Queen’s First Email was in 1976.

The very first head of state to use email was Queen Elizabeth II. During a trip to the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment in Malvern, England, she used the ARPANET’s electronic mail service. Her Majesty Elizabeth II’s username was given to her as HME2.

1978 saw the debut of spam emails.

Someone quickly discovered a method of using email to generate income. After sending an unsolicited email marketing message to hundreds of ARPANET subscribers, Gary Turek gained the moniker “father of spam.” He was advertising a fresh offering from Digital Equipment. There asserts that the email generated purchases worth $13 million.

You might wonder if this was spam or just shrewd email marketing with that much success. The most ironic email campaign in history might be the subject of the same inquiry.

The Other Inventor’s EMAIL Program debuted in 1978.

The originator of the email is still up for discussion. According to V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, the original email was a program he wrote when he was just 14 years old. For the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Ayyadurai created his interoffice software system. The email was dialed by him.

Ayyadurai continued to graduate from MIT with four degrees, start tech enterprises, and enter politics. Although many people dispute his claim to be the creator of email, he likely came up with the phrase.

The History of Email
The History of Email

1982: Simplifying Email

The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) standardized the sending and receiving of messages by mail servers. It is somewhat based on Tomlinson’s SNDMSG program from the ARPANET. Email clients use SMTP to transmit messages to mail servers, which then deliver them to the intended recipients.

The Post Office Protocol (POP), which would appear in the middle of the 1980s, and the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) are other protocols.

Outlook’s ancestor in 1988

Microsoft unveiled MSMail, their first commercial email program, around the end of the decade. Versions were available for both PCs and Macs. It served as the Exchange and Outlook products’ forerunner.

Since then, Microsoft has been giving email developers grief! One of the key justifications for using Email on Acid’s capabilities is trouble sending emails through Outlook.

1989: The 1990s’ voice for email

The voice of Elwood Edwards perhaps contributed to the public’s addiction to email checking. He created the “You’ve Got Mail” notice on AOL. It was arguably among the first methods of getting a dopamine rush online. Edwards was employed in radio at the time, while his wife was employed with AOL. She asked him to record a few lines for her, which he did in his living room on a cassette tape.

What you see is what you get in 1992

CompuServe made it possible to format emails without knowing any code. A WYSIWYG editor with support for various fonts, colors, and emoticons was first developed by an early ISP for use in email and online forums.

The History of Email
The History of Email

1993: Webmail’s inception

It’s simple to forget that, for a considerable amount of time, you had to send and receive email using a certain software application because the development of email has progressed so swiftly. The initial iteration of webmail was created by Phillip Hallam-Baker, a cyber-security specialist employed at CERN. But his version was just a test, never made available to the whole public.

The Evolution of Webmail Clients in 1996

Having access to your email from any computer with an internet connection is a concept that, of course, would catch on immediately. In the middle of the 1990s, ISPs started including webmail in their packages. The first free webmail services were Hotmail and RocketMail, the latter of which became Yahoo! Mail.

Gmail Changes the Game in 2004

Gmail set a higher standard for its rival webmail services when it debuted in 2004. To begin with, Gmail provided a full gigabyte of storage space, which may not seem like much now, but was significantly more than was typical at the time.

Canada Fights Spam in 2014

No, people do not refer to ham as Canadian bacon in Canada. However, they can recognize spam when they see it. To reduce unwanted email, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) went above and beyond CAN-SPAM. The Cakemail blog notes that while CAN-SPAM does not require consent or any other action before receiving an email, Canadian law does. Text messaging, social networking, and other digital communications are likewise covered by CASL.

The History of Email
The History of Email

Women in Email in 2016

Email marketing has been increasingly popular over time. “Email geeks” come in various shapes and sizes. The Women of Email professional network was established in 2016 by seasoned email marketers Jen Capstraw, April Mullen, and Kristin Bond to support female leadership in the field.

2018: Privacy Protection

While the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act may have given email marketers some trouble, they have also inspired us to become better at what we do.

2020: A Year that Shook the World

An email has undergone numerous changes over the years, but in 2020, the entire world changed, and email marketing went along with it.

For crisis communication during the COVID-19 pandemic, email was crucial. The transition to remote work and online learning, the growing acceptance of eCommerce, and the effects of economic ups and downs were other shifts.

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