Gmail threading gets kill switch

Google announced today the ability to disable Gmail's email threading (conversation view) feature. Conversation view has been one of its most hotly debated features since the service launched in 2004.

With more corporations and large organizations using Gmail as their primary email solution, Google wants to give people who don't have the choice of switching to another service, a non-threaded option. The company says that the feature will make the transition easier for former users of "legacy solutions" (i.e. Microsoft Outlook), who aren't used to the threaded conversation view.

Comparison between conversation view and non-threaded option

Gmail was originally created out of Google's frustration with traditional e-mail systems, over time gaining millions of mainstream users. Many people started using Gmail specifically for the threading feature, saying that it makes it easier to follow a conversation and cuts down on the number of items in your inbox. Some users, however, disliked the feature from the start, even rallying against it.

Google's Wiltse Carpenter compared the frustration with threaded Gmail to the backlash over cilantro. "And just as an outspoken minority has banded together in unison to declare their distaste of one of nature's most delicious herbs, some of you have been very vocal about your dislike of conversation threading," he wrote in a blog post.

Users can toggle between the conversation view and the non-threaded view through the main settings menu. Google will be rolling out conversation view settings over the next several days.

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