Google has confirmed it's testing a plan to let Gmail users create their own custom Gmail address.
If you currently use Gmail, chances are that your email address comes in the standard format allocated by the Gmail server and is something like firstname.lastname@example.org. Now Google is piloting a scheme that would allow users to choose an address that's more like email@example.com - with the 'whateveryouwant' part customised according to the user's whim, subject to the usual internet rules on domain names.
The scheme would allow private customers to have their own custom Gmail address at a cost of $2 per user per month, assuming the account doesn't need any additional storage beyond the 15GB Gmail users are given by default.
For business and professional users, there's a second option including 30GB of online storage, 24/7 support, and other business tools which will cost $5 per user per month.
A third option at $10 per month allows unlimited online storage (or 1TB per user if there are fewer than five users) along with archiving and Google's eDisovery service.
"We know that your first choice of username probably wasn't firstname.lastname@example.org is why we're experimenting with scalable ways to provide other options. This is just a test though, and we haven't made any decisions for the long term," a Google spokesperson said.
So no decisions have been made yet but those who would like the chance to choose their own Gmail addresses should let Google know while the test project is under way.