Gigya, multimedia email

February 14th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Email is probably the most popular application of the internet aside from search. Email clients both off and online have always struggled to incorporate files into an email. For example, how do you send in a video or audio file on MS Outlook, Mozilla ThunderBird, or Gmail or YahooMail? Answer is, attach it. Unlike pictures that can be incorporated in an email, videos and audio files cannot, so they are sent as attachments.

Gigya is an online email client that allows media to be added in the email and not necessarily as an attachment. In fact, Gigya allows layouts, graphics, videos, word arts, smiles, icons, glitters, photos, tools and toys, and even games to be incorporated in the email. So it's just like sending over a whole website. The media can be added while composing the email in Gigya by choosing from the media panel or by entering a URL.

This is possible by actually embedding codes in the email much like embedding videos and other Flash objects in blogs and websites. Meaning the video file or whatever media that is sent is still based online. I'm using Mozilla Thunderbird and I sent an email from a Gigya client, I received the email exactly as I sent it. But when I started to use the media in the email, they were just actually links to the email stored in Gigya and only there was I able to play the game I incorporated and watch the YouTube video.

Regardless of this limitation, Gigya is still a step forward in email technology. At least they realized that emails are indeed boring when they're all text and while the web was proliferating on rich media applications. Gigya hopefully serves as a wake up call to email clients that emails must also be able to contain rich media applications. Personally, I'd love use Gigya especially if they release a client version.