BIMI surges forward with support from Google and Valimail
Today, Valimail is pleased to welcome Google to the list of companies supporting Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI), a draft email standard that entered a pilot phase in 2018 and is proceeding to broad trials in the next year. The AuthIndicators Working Group, which oversees development of the BIMI standard, announced Google’s participation in the BIMI standard today, and also noted that Google is expected to launch a pilot in Gmail in 2020.
What that means: If your domain has a BIMI certificate (which specifies an image — usually your logo — associated with your domain), then those images will start appearing in Gmail.
Google’s participation will help push the BIMI standard forward and create a powerful incentive for companies to implement email authentication.
BIMI provides a secure, global framework enabling email inboxes to display sender-designated logos for authenticated senders. It includes protections to prevent senders from spoofing logos owned by other organizations. As part of those protections, BIMI will work only with email that has been authenticated through the Domain-based Message Authentication, Receiving & Conformance (DMARC) standard and for which the domain owner has specified a DMARC policy of enforcement.
Valimail will support BIMI, of course, not just through our contributions to the working group but with tools to automate BIMI and similar brand management mechanisms, offering enterprises with complex email environments the ability to manage brand consistency at scale.
Valimail has been an avid supporter of BIMI since the company’s founding, and even before. The AuthIndicators Working Group was co-founded in 2015 by Josh Aberant, who is now VP of Growth Marketing at Iterable, and Alexander García-Tobar, who is now the CEO of Valimail.
I have been the chair of the AuthIndicators Working Group for the past year. Since then, the group has tested, validated, and extended BIMI deployments in the real world, starting with an extensive trial on Yahoo Mail’s web and mobile properties, where the company noted that it has been able to provide better and more accurate brand logos, as well as providing a clear incentive to accelerate the adoption of DMARC among participating brands.
AuthIndicators has also made significant strides to harden the security and anti-spoofing provisions of BIMI, culminating in today’s news of Google joining the group.
The next step is to drive adoption of brands involved in the trial, extending BIMI’s benefits to more brands, while building out a robust ecosystem of validated logos and certificates, and driving awareness and adoption of the standard.
This is not the only standard that Valimail is pushing forward. The IETF recently recognized the Authenticated Received Chain (ARC) standard, for which I am a co-author, in RFC 8617, setting the stage for widespread adoption. That, in turn, will spread adoption of authentication even further in the email ecosystem.
In short, we’re not just building products for our customers. With BIMI, as with ARC, Valimail is committed to actively helping build the internet of the future. Our hope is that this will be a stronger, safer, and more authenticated world for everyone.