Update 1: Gmail has just modified their front page, featuring a new background with darker colours and a more visible announcement of the new themes/colors
Yesterday news about the addition of new themes to Gmail surfaced from the web, and you could measure the excitement by just seeing the tweets
As a long-time Gmail user, I couldn’t have been more fascinated. But to my disappointment, the new feature only came this morning, almost a day after the news spread out, while most people I know somehow got it very early, even 1 or two hours after the launch. I was not like the time when IMAP was rolled out and I was among the first users to have it
Anyway, it is a lot of fun to play with these new themes, and I choose the Ninja theme to play with. Simply enough, it looks cool, is black and red, two of my favorites colors, as you can refer from my blog theme
Here are some screenshots taken by LifeHacker:
Now I don’t need the Better Gmail 2 extension in Firefox anymore, anything I want, Gmail has it.
Though people received the news with mixed feelings, some said they would not even touch any of these new themes, some were concerned about the new Default theme. It’s a normal thing though.
Google provides new themes for its users for the following benefits:
- It lures potential users into using Gmail. Certainly who doesn’t love to use a great email service with beatufilly crafted theme and 7G of space and counting, with a lot of advanced features?
- I lures exisiting users who haven’t taken Gmail seriously yet.
- The best part is, it allows Google to experiment with different patterns of ads placed within its users’ mailbox. Certainly you would see the ads on the right have changed their color patterns in accordance with the theme’s colors. As Google has the largest pool of information of its users, this will help Google track how the users respond to the different sets of colors it’s playing with, and may possibly roll out new themes basing on the most productive colors patterns. This will not only benefit Gmail, but also benefits Adsense and Adwords in general
So, would Google one day allow you to design/customize your own theme? Never. Because if they let you do that, they lose control over how the ads will be designed to fit your own theme, or they may provide specifications regarding how you may customize the themes, which is not fun
To conclude, this is a win-win game for everybody. Don’t think Google is doing you a favor!
Anyway, just some spontaneous thoughts. Which theme are you using now?