Is Gmail Safe? Google Responds To Shutdown Claim Seen By Over 7 Million

Gmail logo on a background with lines and shapes.
An X/Twitter user with nearly 100,000 followers had people researching if Google was planning to shut down its popular Gmail service after posting a supposed screenshot of an email claiming that was the case. The post quickly went viral, amassing over 7.6 million views in less than 24 hours. But is Google really going to pull the plug on Gmail like it did with Hangouts, Google+, YouTube Stories, Stadia, and dozens of other projects? In a word, no.

It was a hoax perpetuated by an image posted by @growing_daniel of what looked like official communication from Google.

"We are reaching out to share an important update about Gmail. After years of connecting millions worldwide, enabling seamless communication, and fostering countless connections, the journey of Gmail is coming to a close. As of August 1, 20214, Gmail will officially be sunsetted, marking the end of its service. This means that as of this date, Gmail will no longer support sending, receiving, or restoring emails," the fake message stated.

It didn't take long for the post to reach 1 million views, and then sevenfold more just a day later. There are at least a couple reasons why it spread like wildfire in such a short time. For one, Google has been known to shut down services abruptly and unexpectedly, like it did with Stadia and Google Fiber TV.

Gmail is far more popular than of the past services that Google axed, but another possible reason why the post went viral is because did actually sunset part of Gmail last month, that being the service's basic HTML view. Google had sent out emails to users several months ago about the change.

Not to worry though, we can say with absolute certainty that Gmail is not going anywhere, at least not soon. Google put the matter to rest in a succinct post of its own.

Gmail post on X/Twitter saying Gmail is here to stay.

Google's official Gmail account on X/Twitter wrote, "Gmail is here to say," which also sits at 7.6 million views at the time of this writing. Hilariously, the top reply is from @greg16676935420 who wrote, "Source?" If you're not following greg, an anonymous account with over 784,500 followers (including notable figures like Tom Brady and Elon Musk), you should—greg offers much needed levity in a social media landscape that can often be controversial and/or infuriating.

The situation does raise an interesting question, though—how would the public respond if Google actually did decide to send Gmail to the graveyard? It's estimated that Gmail has over 1.8 active users and is the third most popular app behind Facebook and Instagram. It wouldn't be the end of the world, but it would at least be jarring. Fortunately, that's a question we don't have to answer any time soon.