Home Yahoo Mail Redesign Leaves Beta, Promises Speed Boost and Social Integration

Yahoo Mail Redesign Leaves Beta, Promises Speed Boost and Social Integration

Six months after announcing a redesign, the newest version of Yahoo Mail is ready to come out of beta today, promising more social integration, faster load times, better spam filtering, cross-device operability and better search. Yahoo announced the beta version in October 2010 and it is the first major update to the platform in about five years.

The Associated Press reports that Yahoo Mail has 277 million users, down 1% from the same time last year. Hotmail is the global leader with 327 million users while Gmail has grown 24% (43 million users) over the last year to 220 million. Yahoo’s announcement coincides with last week’s iOS update to Yahoo Messenger as the company looks to reassert itself as an innovator and communications leader.

Along with an updated, simpler user interface, the new Yahoo Mail adds Twitter and Facebook functions, which allow users to post updates from within the inbox. It is a simple execution to add social layers and to say that Yahoo Mail is social but it seems more like putting a Band-Aid on a shotgun wound. At the same time, neither Gmail (outside of Google Buzz) nor Hotmail offer social layers.

Yahoo Messenger with chat is now easier to use and brings Yahoo Mail much closer to GChat/Talk in terms of communications functionality. Yahoo Mail also allows users to send and receive SMS directly from their account.

We reported last year that Yahoo rebuilt its mail using CSS3 and loads with fewer images, thus reducing load times by 35%. It has also added feature applications within the inbox such as Flickr, Evite and PayPal.

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