Yahoo! Overhauls Its Email Service; Shifts Attention To Social Media

To match up with the pace of Gmail’s growth and Hotmail’s marketshare, Yahoo! has overhauled its email service. Gmail has been the most popular email service in India since October 2009 but, Yahoo! still commands a major share of the market with 284 million users worldwide. Microsoft’s Hotmail rules this domain with a mighty share of 364 million users worldwide. We had first reported of Yahoo! plan of launching a faster, easier and more social email service in October 2010, when it was still in beta. Now, Yahoo! will finally roll out its overhauled email service to its 284 million users.

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The two main aspects of Yahoo!’s overhauled email service would be a new design and scores of new features. The advantage of a well-designed layout is that it appears more interactive to users. As for the new features, speed, better protection from spam and increase in storage area will soon come up. Currently, Yahoo! mail is speedy but not speedy enough. According to Yahoo!, the new upgraded mail system will be twice as fast as the present version is.

A note of interrogation might arise when it comes to giving customers better protection from spam. Gmail’s spam protection system is decent but Microsoft’s is below expectation. It makes Yahoo’s tasks easier as they might point out the weaker areas in Gmail’s spam filter and improve upon them. But it’s just a speculation, until and unless the new email service is rolled out to the masses the standard of spam protection can’t be measured. The increase of storage area has been imitated from Google. A huge number of people use Google’s mail server because Gmail provides them 7.5 GB of space and promises them that they won’t have to delete a single mail to maintain the storage area. Yahoo! does not want to leave any stone unturned and has implemented this as well. The new Yahoo! mail also allows users to chat with Facebook friends, Windows Live and Yahoo! Messenger.

Other than these, users will also find social networking facilities within Yahoo! mail. The new version will let users post updates across different social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Zynga through a reply bar which users will find within Yahoo! mail box. Users can even view updates and notifications from friends inthe updates tab. The polarization feature prioritize contacts of a user and reflects a new upgrade of Facebook. Recently, Facebook streamlined notifications that users receive judging their importance. The polarization feature will place some of the contacts at the top list on the basis of how frequently the user interacts with them.

The number of users to access internet through mobile devices is increasing rapidly. That’s why Yahoo is ready to capture the mobile space as well. The new Yahoo mail will offer a seamless experience across PCs, tablets and mobile devices. It seems what Blake Irvin, the Chief Product Officer at Yahoo! is indeed correct when he said, “Yahoo’s vision for online communications brings together all the tools that people use to connect — email, chat, SMS, and social updates — and makes it easier for them to share content and engage in conversations with the people that matter most to them.”

But, the question remains, does it have enough to topple Gmail? We will get this answer once the overhauled version gets rolled out to all the users of Yahoo! mail in the coming week. Meanwhile, you can take the new version for a run at overview.mail.yahoo.com.

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