Today I learned that Yahoo has more users than Gmail and almost twice as many as Hotmail – the former reigning king of internet mailboxes. That’s in the US. Gmail wins when you go international but we’ll let that slide for right now.
Yahoo may have the numbers but my gut tells me that more people are actually using their Gmail account for email they want to read. It’s sad but true, Yahoo. Everyone I know with a Yahoo account uses it as a repository for junk mail, including me. I just visited the account I opened ages ago and found that Old Navy loves me to the tune of 500 messages. I have an additional 1500 messages from various other marketing entities, 365 of which Yahoo categorized as Spam.
But Yahoo’s new lady in charge, Marissa Mayer is out to change all that. She’s often said that mobile is her top priority and that’s smart. Just the other day, we talked about how the email open rates on mobile are slowly rising up to meet desktop opens. So Yahoo has poured their efforts into updating Yahoo! Mail across all the platforms.
Old Yahoo! Mail
New Yahoo! Mail
The most obvious thing is the sidebar ad in the new design. You can get rid of this by paying $19.99 a year for Yahoo Plus. There are also ads above and below the navigation bar. The old one had the chat included on that bar but it’s gone in the new design. When you delete the trash, you get a full page ad along with the notice that your trash is empty.
Overall, the new design is more modern looking. They’ve taken away the rounded edges and tightened up the space so it looks clean. The same improvements carry over into the mobile versions and that’s where Yahoo really needs to pick up daily users.
Here’s what Ms. Mayer had to stay on the official Yahoo blog:
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.
As I said, I haven’t used Yahoo! Mail in awhile, but it always struck me as being cluttered and logging in was a pain but I like where they’re going. It’s not enough to pull me away from Gmail, but kudos to Yahoo for pushing forward in the space.
Do you Yahoo?