Are Gmail new themes just for fun?

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:

Gmail Ninja Theme

Gmail Ninja Theme

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?

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7 Responses to Are Gmail new themes just for fun?

  1. Huy says:

    You are right.
    Themes also make Gmail more interesting to young users (kids, teenagers…).

  2. ramana says:

    yeah, i never thought to ask Google to do me a favor either :P I no that, once they provide us something they would expect more benefit to their own company. Anyway, nice sharing (though I never think bout this seriously) oh! I used Candy :P

  3. AnhHung says:

    @Huy: especially for Vietnamese, we love eyecandies :)

    @Ramana: Candy looks pretty for girls :) Thanks for visiting my blog!

  4. Huy says:

    Young users (kids, teenagers…) is important market segment to a product like Gmail or other Google’s products.
    When a child likes your products, he probably will become your user when he grows up. It’s like “teaching users” to use your products (sorry about my poor English).

    Btw, I use “Tea House” ^^.

  5. AnhHung says:

    @Huy: so you and @chipro are using the same theme. Interesting hehe.

  6. ThoaiOnline says:

    LOL. I’m on Ninja too!!!

  7. AnhHung says:

    @anhhung runs to @thoaionline and shakes his hands :)

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