Email – Things that are surprisingly older in the internet world

It is around 50 years old!


We are living in an era where an email (electronic mail) communication has become the daily part of our life. We receive at least five emails per day from various sources. Even the companies have started utilizing it as an advertising medium for their products and launches.

Email – Things that are surprisingly older in the internet world


But there used to be the days where people were not even aware of the word email. Yes, every sort of communication were happening over phone calls. It does not mean that email was not present during those days. But it was used by very fewer people. Since 2000, the number of people using email has grown significantly. It saw a rise of 32% between 2009 and 2013.

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Now, it has become the primary sort of communication with more than 600 million people internationally using it. Some say that history of email is around 50 years old and this concept was not just invented but evolved. Before email worked similar to file directories where one just had to put any message in other person's directory so that he can view it later.

First email system was used at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965 and was known as MailBox. In this system, only the users with the same computer network were able to send the message. But once desktops were able to communicate with each other over a network, it gave rise to the actual email which we are making use of now.

Email – Things that are surprisingly older in the internet world


Ray Tomlinson is the mastermind behind this invention. He invented email system in 1972 and he worked with Bolt Beranek and Newman as an ARPANET contractor before. He even gets the credit for the invention of @ symbol.

He is the one who picked that symbol from the keyboard which helped in multiuser communication. Jon Postel is the first person to use this new system, and after using it he described it as a "nice hack".

Also Read: The "@" symbol - Things that are surprisingly older in the internet world

SMTP, or simple message transfer protocol is the first important email standard used. SMTP had few basic flaws in it, which led to the entrance of viruses and worms and resulted in some security frauds and spams. Now POP (or Post Office Protocol) servers have become the standard for email communication.

With the evolution of technology, even the interfaces of email applications are made friendly with so many advanced features. Now we have reached such a level that everyone has one or more than one email addresses for different purposes.

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