Happy birthday, email!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of email, a technology that has transformed the way the world communicates. From the first-ever message “QWERTYUIOP” to forming the backbone of today’s digital services, email has come a long way.

Jan Oetjen, CEO of mail.com, reflects on the 50th anniversary of email:

“With its invention 50 years ago, email became one of the central pillars of the internet and the accompanying digitalization. Despite fierce competition with investments worth billions, it has held its own to this day and ranks among the top three apps on every smartphone – battling neck and neck for first place with mobile messengers like WhatsApp, but well ahead of social network apps.

Despite the current moves toward closed technologies, email remains the internet's biggest and most successful standard. It gives users a free choice of which provider they choose as their email service, without having to accept any restrictions on their contacts.

Over the years, email has grown beyond its pure communication function. Although it is still the most important channel for communication between companies and users, email has also taken on a kind of backbone function for most digital services. For example, the username for many applications is usually the email address, and this has made email the login standard. Central processes such as automated delivery notifications, updates and password processes run via the email standard as a common denominator for all services and, above all, as an interface to the user.

As one of the last great open standards and the backbone of digital services, email deserves our congratulations on its 50th birthday!”