Google Inc. on Wednesday began testing a new e-mail list service as the company continues to expand beyond basic Web search.
Called Google Groups 2, the service builds on Google's archive of more than 845 million Usenet postings and adds the ability for users to create and manage their own public and private mailing lists. It also offers faster indexing of postings for search and features for joining groups and tracking hot topics, Google officials said.
The service was launched as a beta test on the Google Labs page, where Google publicly previews new offerings. But Google plans to replace the current Google Groups, which is based entirely on Usenet, with the new service, said Marissa Mayer, Google's director of consumer Web products. She declined to pinpoint when the switch-over would occur, saying it would depend on user feedback.
"We've always envisioned taking Usenet as the base and adding new forums," she said of Google Groups. "We're finally making that vision a reality today."
Google acquired its Usenet archive from Deja.com in 2001.
View: Google Groups beta
News source: Eweek