Pluto Mail, which bills itself as the “Snapchat of email,” appears to be one step closer to exiting beta and said that the first 500 people (who follow this link) can access the actual Pluto Mail immediately.
Two Harvard law school students -- David Gobaud and Lindsay Lin -- conceived the idea of Pluto in December 2013 and said that the company recently raised $30,000 in seed funding from Rough Draft Ventures and Dorm Room Fund. The free Web-based email service makes it possible to give emails an expiration date, edit sent emails before they are opened, check if they have been read, and easily convert all the attachments into a jpeg file. Pluto can be used with an existing email client like Gmail (which also has an unsend feature), iOS Mail.app, Apple Mail, Outlook or Android Mail, according to the company's website.
Gobaud told TechCrunch that the big advantage of Pluto over Gmail and Snapchat is that "Pluto allows you to communicate with anyone that has email and does not require them to join the service -- this is the primary advantage over other apps and services.”
He said that “Pluto takes the content in the email and turns it into an image and also saves it. The image and content is hosted in the user’s Dropbox or on our servers and an HTML image tag and iframe is put in the email. When the email is opened the image and iframe load the content from Dropbox/our server so that is how the sender maintains control of it after send.”
The recently launched Dropbox feature aims to help users store all of their content in one place -- a function traditional email services have made more difficult. Still, Pluto may not be the right choice for everyone. Gobaud said that Pluto emails are stored on its servers to facilitate email management and search. He told the Wall Street Journal in April that Pluto will comply with subpoenas and court orders for email information, which has been a big concern for those worried about privacy and growing government intrusion.
“When you have a conversation in real life, it doesn’t follow you for the rest of your life,” Goubad told the Journal about Pluto. “Sure, there are some business emails or emails related to a contract you might want to keep but most other emails, you want them to go away.”