Gmail now has more than 1 billion active monthly users

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Towards the end of Alphabet’s Q4 2015 earnings call yesterday, CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that the company’s Gmail service now has over 1 billion active users per month, an increase of 100 million since last May and up from 425 million in 2012.

While this is a significant milestone, it’s almost surprising the service hasn’t hit the figure earlier. Other platforms, like Facebook for example, achieved the 1 billion mark last summer. Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp recently revealed that it also has over 1 billion users. Since Gmail is likely significantly more integral to most people’s lives than most social networking platforms, it’s strange the service has taken this long to reach this milestone.

According to Pichai, Gmail’s automatic response system accounts for 10 percent of replies through the email service’s mobile app. So when your friend replies with a strangely curt message to your email about grabbing dinner tonight, there’s a 1-in-10 chance that message might have been sent by Google’s email robot.