Retooled Yahoo Mail to Bring Smarter In-Box for Third-Party Development
Yahoo introduces the new Yahoo Mail, a messaging and collaboration platform that aims to integrate multiple Web services and strengthen connections between users and their contacts. Yahoo hopes the new Mail app will help it better compete with Google and Microsoft in the Web services arena. Yahoo Mail integrates with Web services such as social e-mail service Xoopit, Yahoo's Flickr site and blog application WordPress.Yahoo began delivering on its promise of creating a smarter in-box experience for its 275 million Yahoo Mail users, turning on a service Dec. 15 that will let the Web mail application integrate with social networks and other Web services. The new Yahoo Mail, which former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang promised at the Consumer Electronics Show Jan. 7, is rolling out to users on a limited basis over the next few months.
Yahoo says the move is part of the most challenging leg in the Yahoo Open Strategy to open the company's service to interoperate with various Web services.
The "Welcome" dashboard shows messages, invitations, and "updates" from the people that matter to users most. The dashboard also displays "invitations to connect" (evidently, once connected with someone, their actions will begin showing up on your dashboard because they will have deemed important to you). When you view your inbox, you can choose to view messages from just your "connections," letting you filter out all of the e-mail that ostensibly means less to you. Contacts (which includes everyone in your address book) are different than connections, which are suggested by Yahoo's algorithm and explicitly identified by users. Invitations to connect are either generated by Yahoo's algorithm or sent manually by your contacts.VentureBeat's Anthony Ha wrote:
It's not just about notifying your friends about what you're doing on other sites, but actually bringing those services into your e-mail. For example, you can open your Flickr account within Yahoo Mail and copy photos into an e-mail; you can also drag text from an e-mail into a WordPress blog post.Moreover, Yahoo said the new Updates feature will include user activity related to new connections, the Yahoo profile, Yahoo Buzz, and Yahoo properties such as TV, Music and Travel. As part of the YOS philosophy, developers will be able to integrate their services right into Yahoo Mail. Today, some Yahoo Mail users in the United States and Australia will see the smarter in-box, including the new Welcome Page, in-box and folder-view enhancements, and connections and Updates functionality. A more limited group of U.S. users will begin beta testing the open applications today. Yahoo plans to bring together the social and open features in Yahoo Mail in the first half of 2009.