April 15, 2009

Magic in your gmail User Name

What is your gmail ID?

Mine is khimaanshu@gmail.com not just this, but k.himaanshu@gmail.com, khi.maanshu@gmail.com,k.h.i.m.a.a.n.s.h.u@gmail.com and many many more.Total 512 addresses like this.

Got the trick?

The dot in your gmail username is redundant. You can place it anywhere (except starting and ending) or just remove it. All mails addresses are valid.

Hence if you are having 'n' letters in your email addresses, the you actually own ‘2^(n-1)’ distinct email addresses on Google. Isn't that interesting? Digged it a bit and realized its a nice feature. Helpful if you have a website where you are subscribing using trial for few days and login requires a fresh valid mail address.

Now the interesting question is why Google is doing this?

Google’s motto is to organize the world's information. For Google - Mail, Blogger, Orkut, reader, Docs is not just a service. Your user name is a 'profile' which has behaviour which can be learn by machine learning algorithm to display targeted advertisements. Removing non characters is a simplest method to do string matching. Hence it gives Google a chance to unify your different profiles as one. Any more suggestions are welcome.

K Himaanshu Shukla
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