How many people do you think you’ve emailed over the course of the last year? How about over the last two years, or even since you established your account? If you’re a Gmail user, there’s actually a simple way to check that information: your contacts. Gmail, unlike many other free webmail services, automatically stores the basic contact information of anyone who you have an email conversation with (both send and receive email) as long as you have that feature enabled. These contacts are also associated with your Google account, so those who set up an Android device will be able to access the data, and with your Google Talk account, so you can instant message any who also have Gmail Chat or Google Talk enabled.
When Gmail was released, the number of potential contacts was limited to 10,000. That seems like more than enough for anyone, but after the seven years that Gmail’s been around, some have actually hit that limit. Not wanting those obscenely contact-obsessed users to feel restricted, Google’s Gmail team quickly raised the limit to 25,000. That feature was implemented early in May and automatically applies to all Gmail and Google Apps accounts.
“We want you to be able to store all of your contacts in a single place,” said Mike Helmick, a Gmail Software Engineer, in the official announcement of the contact boost. And with 25,000 potential contacts, it’s highly unlikely that anyone will feel too constrained – at least for the next few years.
The Gmail team also took the opportunity to give the Contacts section an additional increase: the total size of notes on each contact, formerly limited to 32kb, was increased to 128kb. This means that those who like to keep extended notes on a contact will be able to do so without running into restrictions.