14th on 21 interesting Facts About Google: Because Gmail first launched on April 1st of 2004, many people thought it was an April Fools’ Day prank.
Google chose a pretty dubious day to announce the birth of Gmail (1 April 2004), so news outlets were understandably sceptical. But looking back with wizened eyes, their hesitancy isn’t anywhere near as entertaining as the thought of Yahoo being a legitimate competitor to Gmail. So on this day of fools, let’s look back at the beginning of what would soon become the NSA’s wet e-dream — the largest store of personal information anywhere.
9 People Who Thought Gmail Might Be An April Fools’ Prank – gizmodo.com.au