History & Evolution Of E-Mail (And Other Online Communication)
How does e-mail work?
- #1 E-mail is sent from the sender's Mail User Agent - either a program such as Outlook or a webmail client.
- #2 The e-mail is received by the sender's Simple Mail Transfer Protocol server, which asks a Domain Name System server to where to send the message.
- #3 The sender's SMTP server is told where the Mail Exchanger for the recipient is via DNS.
- #4 The sender's SMTP server is told passes along the message to the receiver's MX, using the SMTP protocol.
- #5 The receiver's e-mail server stores the message, which can be read next time their Mail User Agent accesses the mailbox.
- 1965: E-mail begins life at MIT as a method for users on time-sharing mainframes to communicate.
- 1966: Users no longer have to be on the same mainframe to exchange e-mails - just a system with a compatible OS.
- Mid-1960's: Multi-user operating systems allow those logged in to send messages to each other.
- Early 1970's: Ray Tomlinson updates a utility called SNDMSG so it's able to copy files over a network.
- 1971: Tomlinson is credited with sending the first e-mail on ARPANET. Soon after, e-mail becomes the killer app of the network.
- 1977: RFC 733 is proposed as a format for sending e-mail across the Internet.
- Early 1980's: Users at different companies are able to exchange e-mail, provided both sender and receiver are using the same proprietary protocol.
- 1982: RFC 822 becomes the standard for Internet e-mail message format.
- 1982: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is introduced.
- 1989: CompuServe provides e-mail service to its subscribers.
- 1980's: Some BBS systems include features allowing instant messaging-like chats.
- 1985: Quantum Link for the Commodore 64 allows user-to-user messages (or "Online Messages").
- Early 1990's: E-mail spam begins its steady rise.
- 1991: PGP allows people to exchange encrypted e-mail.
- Late 1990's: HTML e-mails begin to become prevalent (as well as complaints against them).
- 1992: CU-SeeMe allows for text chat in addition to audio & video chat.
- PowWow, one of the first text messaging clients, is released.
- 1996: ICQ is released.
- 1997: AOL Instant Messenger is released by a later incarnation of Quantum Link.
- 1999: Gaim (later called Pidgin) is released, allowing users to log into multiple messaging networks with one application.
- 2000: Push e-mail becomes standard on mobile phones in Japan.
- 2000: Open source chat protocol Jabber is released.
- 2004: The Federal Trade Commission's jurisdiction over spam is codified into law.
- 2008: Facebook adds chat capability to its website.
- 2009: Google Wave is released.
- 2010: Google Buzz is released.
Webmail by the numbers
- Percentage of website visits (week of february 7th, 2010): 1) Yahoo! Mail ~ 3.9%; 2) Windows Live Mail ~ 1.8%; 3) Gmail ~ 0.9%; 4) AOL Mail ~ 0.7%.
- The average size of an e-mail is 75 Kb... an 80-word plain text e-mail is about 10 Kb.
- 2 billion e-mails are estimated to be sent each day.
- There are around 1.3 billion e-mail users worldwide.
- The average knowledge worker spends 2.1 hours each day on online communication (including e-mail).
- The average person spends 2.8 minutes per day managing unsolicited e-mail (or spam).
- The estimated cost of unsolicited e-mails to business in 2007 was $100.000.000.000.
- 99.68% of global spammer websites are hosted in one of five countries. China hosts 73.58% of them.
- 19.8% of spam originates from the US.
- Country of origin: 1) United States ~ 19.8%; 2) China ~ 10%; 3) Russia ~ 6.5%; 4) Brazil ~ 6.4%; 5) Turkey ~ 4.8%.
- Categories of spam: 1) Products ~ 25%; 2) Financial ~ 20%; 3) Adult ~ 18.5%; 4) Scams ~ 8.5%; 5) Health ~ 6.5%; 6) Internet ~ 6.5%; 7) Leisure ~ 6%; 8) Spiritual ~ 4%; 9) Other ~ 3.5%.
- According to one report, over 97% of emails sent are spam.
Business data & infographics by Focus.com | Sources: Basex; Hitwise; Information Management Journal; Heinz Tschabitscher; Wikipedia.