Yahoo revamps Yahoo Mail: Table stakes improvements amid Gmail gains

Yahoo revamps Yahoo Mail: Table stakes improvements amid Gmail gains

Summary: Yahoo said its mail is now faster with easier navigation. Those improvements are necessary, but could also be construed as table stakes.


Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer unveiled a cleaner and more simple design for Yahoo Mail in a move to highlight the company is developing its key products. The larger question is whether Yahoo's mail overhaul can keep Gmail from becoming No. 1 in the U.S.

Mayer noted:

You’ve told us loud and clear that you want fewer distractions when it comes to email. You want to quickly login, communicate, and get on with your day. And we’ve listened. Starting today, the new Yahoo! Mail is fast, easy and available anywhere you go. These improvements will be available on all major platforms: Web, Windows 8, iPhone/iPod touch and Android.

OK. But this is a commodity market where Google's Gmail continually improves. Microsoft's rebrand is strong. And yes, people still have AOL Mail accounts. In other words, the Webmail game is really about keeping customers not necessarily landing new ones.

Simply put, Yahoo has to show growth as Gmail is the only service posting strong gains. Here's a look at the latest U.S. data from comScore on the top Webmail services: 


For Yahoo, it needs to keep its mail customers in the fold if only to hit them with those continual skyscraper ads. Ad-laden email clients are about as close to personal delivery as you can get.

Yahoo said its mail is now faster with easier navigation. There's also a consistent experience across mobile and desktop. Those improvements are necessary, but could also be construed as table stakes.

Topics: Mobility, Collaboration

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  • Spam filter

    That's what Yahoo! Mail should fix. I get so much crap in my Inbox compared to Gmail and Hotmail and it's far from behind my most exposed e-mail address (I usually use my Hotmail to signed up everywhere so this is the one that should receive the crap).
    • Interesting

      I get almost no spam. through my Yahoo! account.
      John L. Ries
    • Agreed - The Spam Filter Needs Serious Work!

      Agreed. of all my email accounts in different services, none get as much spam as my yahoo accounts (though My hotmail junk account comes close). I've enacted strict filtering and even blacklisted dozens of the worst offending addresses and still they get through. I sure hope that Yahoo understands that the update should be much more than skin deep.
    • Disagree

      I've had my Yahoo! account for almost a decade now, & because I take those few seconds to actually mark emails as spam when they've popped up, I very rarely get it in my Inbox now (maybe 5-10 messages a month that aren't immediately directed into the Spam folder).

      As for the interface...definitely like it a lot better, as it's simple-but-elegant look is definitely faster to load. And it's still much better than Gmail's interface (feels clunky, acts clunky, etc.).

      I think, if anything, the only reason Gmail's been on the rise is because of Google Apps, where you have to have a Google/Gmail ID to use them. Personally, though, I prefer Yahoo over Google anyway. I find their search results to be just as "significant", with much fewer "targeted" links from the advertisers that pay Google, and I like Yahoo's homepage much better since I can quickly keep up with news & other events.
      • Gmail's been on the rise is because of Google Apps

        Not only that, but android devices. A lot of people have a gmail account just for their phone.
        • Technically, I think I have 3 separate Gmail accounts

          Each one is for a different purpose. But the time I spend accessing all 3 combined pales by far in comparison with the time I spend checking my Yahoo account.

          I just don't like Gmail's interface, or how it has that stupid "Archive" option -- which does nothing except get in my way because it's right where the "Delete" option is on Yahoo mail.
    • Spam problem?

      I've had my Yahoo account forever and the spam filter seems to do its job quite well for me. Maybe one or two per week will slip into the in box.

      Still waiting to see the new format.
      • Same here.

        Except I get maybe one or two Spams per MONTH in my Inbox. Now the Spam folder, it is absolutely hammered, especially the closer we get to Christmas.

        If you want to see a service that has no control whatsoever on its Spam problem, get an AOL Mail account.

        I have had one for about 15 years, have Spam filtering as high as I can set it, and there are still hundreds and hundreds of Spams per week flooding the inbox... which is why I rarely ever even bother to check it any more.
        Hallowed are the Ori
        • And I especially love the "delete all" option

          That way I don't even have to read the Spam before deleting them. Click "check all", uncheck any non-spam that might have slipped through (usually at most 1-2 a week, but more often maybe 3-4 a month), then "delete", & all of the spam goes away super-quickly.
  • About time

    Y! mail is horrible compared to gmail, yet i still use both.
  • I like it

    Hey, it looks like (and that's not a bad thing either). Simple, cleaner, meaner.
    • yeah

      and that sucks now too, but neither are as bad as Gmail..........
  • hmm.. Mine looks the same.

    I guess it isn't rolled out to everyone yet. I never found it slow, or difficult to use. In fact, it is MILLIONS OF MILES faster and easier to use already than gmail. Gmail is a worthless dung heap..that I wouldn't even have if I didn't once own an Android phone.
    • Yes, Gmail sucks.

      Its hard to even get to spam!
      Stephan Sevenyoln
  • I don't use it

    but this looks really nice.
    Michael Alan Goff
  • looks like Windows 8

    If the goal was to look like Windows 8 then people will love it.
  • New Yahoo Mail Beta?

    I haven't been to yahoo mail since it's last mail beta didn't play with IE10 browser. Looks like they finally came on the 'cam (using an ol' hot-rodder term) and got w/ the program! But, with 4 CEO changes in the past 3 years, I think yahoo! is on the ropes and not long left before they dump the entire operation and ventures into different waters.
    Crashin Chris
  • New Yahoo Mail Beta? pt. 2

    But, it still looks like they made a knock-off of (Hotmail) though.
    Crashin Chris
  • Looks like Outlook

    It is almost a copy of
    Stephan Sevenyoln
  • Yahoo Mail Editing Capabilites on Mobile

    The thing that aggravates me most in Yahoo for Android is that I cannot edit the original message when I get ready to forward an email! I have to leave the original sender's email address on the forwarded message, and I cannot edit the message in any way! It sucks!

    However, the spam filter works extremely well!
    ed norris