Yahoo Mail integrates Facebook, Twitter in overhaul; can it compete with Gmail?

Yahoo Mail integrates Facebook, Twitter in overhaul; can it compete with Gmail?

Summary: Yahoo recently announced plans to revamp and roll out fresh updates for its free email service in the coming weeks. It's starting to make good on that promise with the integration of Facebook and Twitter features.

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Yahoo recently announced plans to revamp and roll out fresh updates for its free email service in the coming weeks. It's starting to make good on that promise with the integration of Facebook and Twitter features.

So far, the latest version of Yahoo Mail has received the following upgrades:

  • Users can send/receive Facebook updates as well as Twitter messages directly from the inbox
  • Messages from contacts are given priority and raised to the top of the inbox
  • Easier to search for videos and photos
  • Recognizes links to and displays thumbnails of videos and photos
  • More vigilant spam filtration
  • Mobile site better optimized for smartphones and tablets
  • Improved overall speed and performance

Introduced last October, the beta program is slowing unraveling to full functionality to all 284 million users of Yahoo Mail. The Yahoo Mail subscribers who are truly going to benefit from these new features are those who own products made by Yahoo's partners - specifically Nokia and Verizon Wireless.

All of these features are certainly useful, but will it be enough to lure users away from subscribing to Gmail and other free Web-based email clients?  It's going to take some time to determine that, either based on specific user numbers or just an overall vibe amongst Yahoo Mail subscribers.

Nevertheless, it's hard to see Yahoo stealing anything away from Google at this point in any matter. There are already Twitter and Facebook apps on Gmail, and Google even went a step further with its own news feed in the form of Google Buzz. Although there have been some disputes about privacy (and where isn't there privacy debates in the realm of social networking?), Buzz has done quite well and is likely here to stay. (At least when compared to some other Google projects in the last few years. See: Google Wave.)

Additionally, Gmail (and other Google Apps) are being integrated on nearly any type of mobile device with the vast expansion of Android-based smartphones and tablets as well as with the Chromebooks rolling out soon. Yahoo Mail (like Gmail) can be integrated as a Pop account on most email clients, like Apple Mail on iOS devices.

But it's still nearly impossible to escape Gmail at this point, so there's almost no reason why not to have a Google account. Unfortunately for Yahoo, that just isn't the case.

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14 comments
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  • RE: Yahoo Mail integrates Facebook, Twitter in overhaul; can it compete with Gmail?

    "But it?s still nearly impossible to escape Gmail at this point, so there?s almost no reason why not to have a Google account"

    I don't have a Google account, nor do I want one. I've seen and used Gmail, and don't like it. I have no reason to *have* a Google account.
    bb_apptix
  • RE: Yahoo Mail integrates Facebook, Twitter in overhaul; can it compete with Gmail?

    good to see Yahoo packing in the features, but with the market so static, and it being so unweildly to ever change your email address, is there much dynamic left? http://t.co/FOxYM8S
    Goffee71
  • RE: Yahoo Mail integrates Facebook, Twitter in overhaul; can it compete with Gmail?

    "But its still nearly impossible to escape Gmail at this point, so theres almost no reason why not to have a Google account"

    A lot of people don't care about Google and their half-a*s products.
    owlnet
  • RE: Yahoo Mail integrates Facebook, Twitter in overhaul; can it compete with Gmail?

    Yahoo's partners Nokia and Verizon Wireless? Care to expand on that? Especially as I have a Yahoo account, intend to go to Verizon Wireless as soon as my current contract is ended, and don't see a single Nokia product on VZW's shelf at the moment.
    mlmiller1959@...
  • RE: Yahoo Mail integrates Facebook, Twitter in overhaul; can it compete with Gmail?

    Yahoo mail was just fine, thank you.<br>So was the calendar, which got revamped (and users *forced* to convert) and rendered nearly useless.<br>If there's any reason to switch away from Yahoo, it's the calendar. Unfortunately, not many options. Specially with Windows Live dropping notifications.
    radu.m
    • RE: Yahoo Mail integrates Facebook, Twitter in overhaul; can it compete with Gmail?

      @radu.m
      Yes, I went through that recently with the calendar. It kept my appointments but changed all times to Zulu. I am also having difficulties with syncing anything but the contacts with my Blackberry via USB.
      mlmiller1959@...
  • RE: Yahoo Mail integrates Facebook, Twitter in overhaul; can it compete with Gmail?

    I think most Yahoo accounts are used just for messenger,Google accounts offer you a lot more.
    anto31
  • RE: Yahoo Mail integrates Facebook, Twitter in overhaul; can it compete with Gmail?

    I think in the near future having Google account will be made essential to get the most of a android device, if that not already the case at the moment, it will be in the future.

    Yahoo is just so far behind it arrivals in all areas it just hard to see them catching up with anyone or staying relevent to the industry.
    Knowles2
  • RE: Yahoo Mail integrates Facebook, Twitter in overhaul; can it compete with Gmail?

    I don't have a Gmail account, I use Yahoo for my mail. But then, I don't have a smart phone, or anything that requires you to use Gmail. I don't have anything against Google really, just satisfied with Yahoo. Have been for over a decade...
    AmraLeo
  • RE: Yahoo Mail integrates Facebook, Twitter in overhaul; can it compete with Gmail?

    I stopped reading after the words "Google Buzz..." LOL, that was such a fail.
    jmwells21
  • RE: Yahoo Mail integrates Facebook, Twitter in overhaul; can it compete with Gmail?

    I shudder to think what this new abomination is going to be like.

    The current Yahoo mail requires you to run Flash, so that you can click the "Attach" button to attach items to your emails!
    Not to mention the 100+ scripts that run on the page (oops, I mentioned them).
    WTH?

    The Yahoo Classic mail doesn't, but they are going to eliminate it to "improve my user experience".
    Gee thanks.
    lehnerus2000
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