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Yahoo Chases Google, Upgrades Mail Service
Yahoo Chases Google, Upgrades Mail Service

By Jennifer LeClaire
October 8, 2013 1:33PM

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Although, it's a legacy property, Yahoo Mail still has millions of users. Owning the inbox is valuable in terms of ad serving and it’s a conduit for other services. And even before upgrading its Mail service, Yahoo had been differentiating with storage. Google's Gmail has generous caps but Yahoo offers unlimited storage, said analyst Ross Rubin.
 



Before there was Gmail, there was Yahoo Mail. Indeed, most of us probably have Yahoo.com e-mails floating around out there (and probably Hotmail.com addresses, too) whether we use them or not. Of course, millions are still loyal to the service.

Yahoo wants to keep its millions and woo new users to its domain and it’s investing resources into its web-based mail platform to do it. On Yahoo’s 16th birthday, the company is celebrating by making the experience more “intuitive” on the desktop, as well as iOS and Android mobile operating systems.

“We’re introducing ‘conversations’ for those who prefer to view e-mails grouped in threads,” said Jeffrey Bonforte, senior vice president of Communication Products at Yahoo, in a blog post. “At the end of the day, being able to see an entire conversation can save you quite a bit of time. Context is king.”

1,000 GBs of Storage

Bonforte said the company also worked to make Yahoo Mail more efficient. For example, activities you do all the time, like search, starring, and deleting, are now one-click actions that appear when you hover over an e-mail. And in a move to give you more breathing room in your inbox, you can collapse the left-hand toolbar to be more productive.

“Since it’s not a birthday without party favors, we’re making many features previously reserved for premium Mail Plus customers free. Disposable e-mail addresses, enhanced filters and automatic message forwarding are now available for everyone,” Bonforte said. “And if that wasn’t enough, we’re giving you a monstrous amount of storage, 1TB (that’s 1,000 GBs), so you have ample space for all your e-mails and attachments.”

On top of all that, Yahoo hopes to inspire Mail users by dressing up the inbox. The company is rolling out what it calls “visually rich themes,” including curated Flickr photos, for your browser, smartphone and tablet. You can choose a new photo theme in one place and it will apply across all your devices.

Fighting for Ad Dollars

We caught up with Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, to get his take on Yahoo Mail improvements and how they stack up in the web-based mail market. He told us Yahoo Mail and Flickr are the two legacy properties in which the company continues to invest. In fact, he said, Yahoo shuttered many of its fringe services in the name of placing bets on these two properties, as well as new services.

“Yahoo Mail still have millions of users. Owning the inbox is valuable in terms of ad serving and it’s a conduit for other services. It keeps people engaged and logged in. Even prior to this Yahoo had been differentiating with storage. Whereas Gmail has generous caps, Yahoo had gone with an unlimited version,” Rubin said.

“Yahoo is also integrating with Dropbox so clearly they are trying to position as a strong alternative. Last year, Microsoft overhauled Hotmail and transitioned it to Outlook.com. The larger web e-mail providers have all been investing in improving their services to stay competitive,” he added.

Yahoo Mail’s new desktop experience is available in English in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Philippines, Malaysia, India, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa with more countries and languages coming soon. The mobile apps are now available globally on iOS, Android and Windows 8.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

charlotte:

Posted: 2013-11-22 @ 11:29pm PT
Everyone involved in the newest version of Yahoo Mail should be fired and their names posted on the Internet. Are these people certifiably insane?

Anne:

Posted: 2013-10-23 @ 11:57pm PT
YAHOO was my first and has been my preferred mailbox since 2004. Even when businesses have insisted on using Gmail for business, I frequently used my Yahoo because of its ease and uncluttered format. This upgrade is the worst yet. The addresses do not automatically populate when sending an email, cannot download an attachment, emails take hours to receive. Strange thing, I don't have these problems with my yahoo service on my ipad...In fact, I will receive messages in my inbox on the ipad and they do not appear in the inbox on my computer and I have both opened at the same time!

FM:

Posted: 2013-10-18 @ 11:09am PT
Here is the petition everyone!:

http://www.change.org/petitions/yahoo-bring-back-the-old-version-of-yahoo-mail

Jeanette:

Posted: 2013-10-18 @ 2:54am PT
What Marissa Mayer and Yahoo have succeeded in doing is alienating their long time, loyal users.
Previous versions of Yahoo Mail incorporated common sense, ease of use and the ability to multitask, making it an excellent choice for people and businesses looking for a stable, efficient way to communicate.
This new Yahoo Mail has taken away that performance and introduced a juvenile, unstable, awkward downgrade.
Complaints on the Yahoo Mail forum will soon reach 100,000, with no signs of slowing down. Users are scrambling to find a new email provider who can give them what they need.
Competitors would do well to take these needs into consideration, as they have a readymade client base eager to make the conversion to a capable email service.
Advertisers with Yahoo ought to take a hard look at where their dollars are being spent. Changes to Yahoo Groups and now Yahoo Mail have consumers leaving in droves with rumblings of an advertiser boycott as protest.
Online publications from The Huffington Post to The New York Times have written on how extensively these changes are despised.
Would it have been so difficult for Yahoo to have modernized the UI while still keeping the functionality that set Yahoo Mail apart from the crowd?
It has been mentioned in jest that Marissa Mayer is really a Google plant sent to destroy Yahoo. Doesn't seem so farfetched after all...

Frank:

Posted: 2013-10-18 @ 1:57am PT
Thank you, Jan, and everyone else below for speaking the truth on how disastrous this has been. I lost hours and hours of time over this. I had valuable information that was lost. When I sent e-mails it was taking up to 24 hours to be received. I accidentally sent private information to an acquaintance that was only meant for a client because somehow his e-mail address got lumped together with my client's e-mail address. And, this isn't even half of it. We have had changes before, but this has been disastrous, time consuming and has cost a lot of us dearly. The drastic change was, also, forced on paying customers without any warning at all.. which happened during a work week at that.

A lot of us multi-tasked with tabs, which is no longer available, either. There is a petition to sign about all this and bringing back a version that is user friendly...and I hope the voices of the customers will be heard.

Walter:

Posted: 2013-10-18 @ 1:29am PT
Yahoo will loose badly. They smashed function for irrelevant looks turning loyal customers into renegades running away. You don't believe it? Read the posts below.

The new look won't attract new customers as fast as long-term fans actually using Yahoo flee. I pray CEO Mayer invested her whole wealth into Yahoo so that she can harvest what she seeds.

Homer:

Posted: 2013-10-18 @ 1:15am PT
Oh, the visually rich themes, the elimination of tabs and the upgrade from unlimited storage to 1 TB of storage have made me so much more productive.

Change does not necessarily equate to improvement.

Sometimes, change makes things worse. This is one of those times.

Jan:

Posted: 2013-10-15 @ 5:57pm PT
Media just don't get this. Yahoo Mail is BROKEN. Here is just a small sample of what is happening to users:

1. Contact lists being deleted
2. Years of emails disappearing
3. Deadlines being missed because functions don't complete
4. A flight squadron couldn't get flight plans
5. A lawyer couldn't file a brief on time
6. Invoices disappearing before they could be paid
7. Orders disappearing before they could be filled.

This debacle is a disaster for business. We aren't complaining about how Yahoo mail looks. We are complaining because essential functions are missing or broken. We love mobile, but we DON'T use mobile for business!

Investors and advertisers need to take notice - Yahoo users are going to leave in DROVES if this isn't addressed.

And just one more comment - 1TB of storage is LESS than the unlimited storage Yahoo used to give us...

beth.snyder:

Posted: 2013-10-15 @ 5:22am PT
Every time Yahoo "upgrades" or "enhances" their email service, the documents in my Draft section mysteriously disappear, not to be found anywhere. After this latest upgrade, I've had it. I'm switching to Google Mail.

Hadi:

Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 10:27pm PT
New phase of "SELFISHNESS" by Yahoo is introduced.

Anonymous:

Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 9:22pm PT
The "New" Yahoo Mail is NO UPGRADE - it's a disaster. The previous version worked very well. Yahoo has changed its interface - hasn't given their customers the choice or a warning. The tabs are gone, the send button is at the bottom of the page, the search functions are gravely less than before, viewing an attachment is now a pain, the BCC is no longer visible - it's all a MESS. The change is definitely ten steps backwards. Who does that? and where did this focus group come from? . . . perhaps Yahoo's competition.

Prisilla Sue:

Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 5:57pm PT
DO NOT LIKE new yahoo mail; CANNOT attach documents in a convenient manner like before.

My Two Cents:

Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 1:40pm PT
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Yahoo needs to look at what works and not try to copy another platform. Android version is laggy and S L O W, desktop version is now switched back to "Basic" to clear up the mess created by the "new and not improved".

Das:

Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 7:50am PT
Before this article was written the author should have used the new service. Now he looks like Yahoo does - incompetant

PG Madhukumar:

Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 4:14am PT
I need the old version. Not yet the upgraded, and can't open the mail properly.

david robertson:

Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 2:25am PT
Got e-mails in, can't get them out, it's a nightmare, no address box. How can I send? Please go back, there was nothing wrong to start with.

janice stuessi:

Posted: 2013-10-13 @ 4:05pm PT
The latest Yahoo Mail upgrade is unworkable on my computer. Give me something so I can read my e-mails.

margaret maxwell:

Posted: 2013-10-12 @ 12:37pm PT
Since yahoo has changed I have been unable to access my emails

jh:

Posted: 2013-10-11 @ 5:49am PT
Sign this petition to get yahoo to allow users to go back to the old version:

http://www.change.org/petitions/yahoo-allow-users-to-use-the-old-version-of-email

Marywilkieschneider:

Posted: 2013-10-09 @ 2:35am PT
After upgrading to iOL 7.0.2 on my iPad last week, I'm terrified to upgrade anything anywhere. Upgrades just confuse me and give me more than I want.



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