After pretty much remaining stagnant and watching Gmail steal its thunder (repeatedly), Yahoo has finally updated its email service. The first significant update to Yahoo Mail in five years, promises to deliver a “faster, safer and more social email experience”.
I tried checking it out with my old Yahoo Mail account, which I solely use for signing up to newsletters that I am never going to read, and was immediately told that my browser (Opera 11) is not good enough for the latest and the greatest from Yahoo’s stables. Anyways, after I switched to Chrome, I was greeted by an interface that had way too much purple for my comfort, but will probably appeal to girls.
As far as features are concerned, the biggest addition is the integration of Twitter and Facebook into the “What’s New” page. You can track what your contacts are doing on Facebook and Twitter, retweet their messages, or even update your status directly from Yahoo Mail. YouTube, Flickr and Picasa have also been smartly integrated so that you can watch videos and slideshows from your friends and family members without leaving Yahoo Mail.
The user interface is essentially the same tabbed experience we have grown used to over the past five years, with some improvements here and there. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing though. Yahoo is also promising to offer a similar look and feel on the iPhone, iPad or an Android device.
If you are a Yahoo Mail user, you can opt-in for the beta from here.