After briefly reading about Gmail’s Priority Inbox, I think it is a product of what they are best at: classification. Using it though may change the “spaminess” of the messages in our inbox: Unimportant messages in our inbox are equally unimportant with spam messages, we just do not mark them as spam. A message can be both spam and unimportant, but not spam and important. Like @gtzi tweeted:
Could it be that people stop periodically checking their “unimportant” email just like they do with their spam folders? Do we have before us yet another automatic Trash can? I do not know.
It is really cool to see message classification technology being used for something else than spam filtering though. I remember reading in sage-members about someone using a (Bayes based) spam filter to distinguish between normal (machine generated) mail sent to the system administrator which can easily be discarded and the rest (few) that needed the administrator’s attention.
Congratulations to Google. They always seek of new ways to classify and present data.
Update: Cool infographic on Priority Inbox: Gmail Evolution