Seeing that Google just opened their doors to new registrations it was a sure thing that they would really start to promote the service. In classic Google fashion they thought outside the box in order to include humor in discussing Gmail’s biggest features. Don’t understand? Let me present to you Gmail Theater (yes, this was really created by Google):

Gmail Chat Heart Gmail also has a Valentine’s Day related emoticon that you can take advantage of if you use Gmail Chat. It is the heart which can be sent by using the character combination “<3″ in your chat message. If you didn’t already know, Gmail Chat has a bunch of emoticons available for you to use that are actually “animated.” They aren’t anything overly special, but ironically they do a lot more than the Google Talk emoticons…which really boggles my mind.

It will also be interesting to see if opening Gmail up to new registrations (without the hassle of using a cellphone) will help Google’s traffic. According to Alexa it is the third most visited site right now only behind Yahoo and MSN, who are number 1 and 2 respectively. I pulled up the Alexa graph for,,, and to show you where their traffic has been at over the last several months:

Google Yahoo MSN Live Alexa Ranks

As you can see, Google took the reigns for a little while, but it didn’t last very long. What was very surprising to me is the growth that MSN has been seeing, which appears to be at a more rapid pace than what is even seeing. One thing that is important though is that Microsoft has both MSN and in the top ten sites on the Internet while Google has itself, YouTube, and Orkut all in the top ten.

It will be fun to see the three biggest Web portals compete to win over the consumers, and it is all going to ride on who can be the most innovative. While I’m a huge fan of Google it wouldn’t surprise me if Microsoft or Yahoo had a trick up their sleeve, but maybe Google’s GDrive storage solution will give them more users?

Source: Google Blog