Russian Internet giant Mail.ru Group‘s US-focused spin-off My.com is launching a slightly puzzling new feature today – mobile-only email addresses.

Just like the approach taken by many mobile messaging apps, these new email addresses are activated by being linked to your phone number. You can use the same SMS activation code on multiple devices (for example a secondary tablet device), although if you change phone numbers, you’ll need a new email address. What’s more, the addresses exclusively work with My.com’s own MyMail app for iOS and Android.

So, given these limitations, why might you want, an ‘@my.com’ email address? Well the ability to grab a really short, desirable email address if you get in early enough, for one. There’s a huge 150GB of storage available per account, too. The company is also proud of its encryption technology and the app’s instant push notifications for new email. Because your address is activated in a similar way to mobile messaging apps, there’s no need for a password

My.com says that with today’s young people often eschewing desktop devices entirely, mobile-only email makes sense. While that rings true in theory, if you’re going to get yourself an email address, why would you limit yourself by restricting the app and devices you can use to access it? I’d argue that young users are either ignoring email entirely or adopting it for reasons such as work. My.com’s solution seems to occupy an uncomfortable middle ground but we’ll watch its performance with interest.

The move follows My.com’s recent push into triple-A, free-to-play gaming last month. The company launched late last year with a model based around free app-based services such as email and chat, subsidized by games.

My.com