When Google first began offering its free e-mail service in 2004, the tech company did some things differently, such as ignoring periods in users’ email addresses. So if you were the musician will.i.am and you wanted that punctuation in your personal Gmail address -- firstname.lastname@example.org, for example -- Gmail wouldn’t recognize the periods. You could just as successfully send mail to email@example.com. Gmail also doesn’t make a distinction between lowercase and capital letters in addresses.
Dots also don’t matter in Facebook addresses. But periods are recognized by Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo Mail and Apple iCloud -- as well as organizations and businesses that use the Gmail platform with their own domain name.
One billion strong and growing: