October 15, 2008 |
Do you have any special feelings about your very first email account? I myself remember mine perfectly well: I had to go to an internet café to register my first account as I did not have any internet connection at home at the time. This was back in 2002 and I remember that day very well though I don’t remember why exactly I had a need in an email account.
But if there is one thing I am sure of it is that there were absolutely no options at the time – Mail.ru was the first thing that came to mind when thinking of a free email for any Russian user. And today Mail.ru has chosen to remind all the users of the days when we first registered our accounts with Mail.ru because of one reason: Mail.ru is celebrating its own 10th birthday today.
On October 15, Mail.ru turns 10 years old and since this is one of the best-known brands of the Russian internet (familiar to some of our international readers as well, I believe), I thought it was worth some recognition piece here as well.
Mail.ru started 10 years ago as a usual free mail service (launched to test a product coded to sell to western companies for their mail servers) and has grown immensely over the time with 75 million registered accounts (granted not all of them are actually active now). Today Mail.ru is one of the largest Russian portals offering more than 40 different services to Russian-speaking users. Among them is the instant messaging protocol (the first Russian IM protocol), search, photo and video hosting, social networking, blogging, and others.
In 2007 based on the purchase of a large share in the company by Naspers Limited Mail.Ru was valuated at the unbelievable $1 billion – something absolutely unseen in the Russian internet segment. On the anniversary day even the Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has congratulated the internet company and sent the best wishes to the team – something that I’ve never seen happening to a Russian internet company before.
To me this is yet another indication of maturity of the Russian internet as we have a company that is only weeks younger than Google and has also managed to achieve some impressive results in the same period of time (though understandably less impressive). So well-done Mail.Ru and let’s see what you manage to achieve in the next 10 years of your existence.