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Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Updated Yahoo Mail is Infused With a "Social Dimension"


Yahoo introduced enhancements

This next generation of Yahoo Mail is part of the company's effort to deliver more personally relevant starting points on the Web by integrating social functionality and opening products up to content and services from outside of the Yahoo network.

Yahoo Mail is a place where millions of people start their day, prioritize their daily activities, and continually check in to stay connected with and informed about what matters most to them. The goal of the next generation of Yahoo Mail is to address the changing communications needs of consumers by streamlining access to the most relevant and useful information, and helping users to become more productive, all from within their inbox, Yahoo said in a statement.

The smarter inbox experience features a new Yahoo Mail Welcome Page which surfaces messages, information and activity updates from people users care about most, as well as an updated inbox and folder view that filters messages from those personal connections. The smarter Yahoo Mail inbox also gives users immediate access to relevant third-party applications that can leverage the user's email content, calendar and contacts with the user's permission.

Yahoo Mail's smarter inbox provides a filtered view of the users' messages and by bringing applications from across the Web right into Yahoo Mail.

Users can "connect" with others using Yahoo's universal profile service and designate the people whose messages and activity updates are most important to them. They can now view a prioritized view of the inbox and folders based on their connections. In the new New Welcome Page, users receive a preview of messages from their connections, see connection suggestions made by Yahoo!, and have the ability to send and receive connection invitations. Users can also see activity Update feeds from their connections, including activity across Yahoo and, in the future, across the Web.

New communications applications included in Yahoo Mail's left-hand navigation panel.

In addition, Yahoo has started a limited beta test bringing third party applications into Yahoo Mail. Features allowing users to communicate in many ways, to share media with their friends and families, and to get things done faster will be accessible to beta testers in the U.S., and additional applications will be added throughout 2009 as the service becomes generally available. Initial applications include:

Family Journal: build a family tree inside Yahoo! Mail and easily share with relatives.
Flickr: share Flickr photos with friends and family right from the inbox.
Flixster: share movie show times, trailers and reviews instantly from the inbox.
WordPress: post photos, links, and more from the inbox to a WordPress blog.
Xoopit: see and share all the photos stored in email, including attachments and links to photo sharing sites, in one organized 'photo view' of the inbox.
Yahoo! Greetings with American Greetings: use the autocomplete email address feature to send an ecard seamlessly from Yahoo! Mail.

Yahoo is working with developers from across the Web to integrate their products and services into Yahoo! in 2009 and beyond.

In addition to these new features and functionality for Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! separately announced today several other product updates. These include providing My Yahoo users with the ability to add third-party applications built on the Yahoo Application Platform, a preview version of the new Yahoo! Toolbar that enables constant access to friend Updates and essential Yahoo and third-party applications as people browse the Web, and the surfacing of relevant Yahoo! Updates based on user activity on Yahoo! TV, Music and Travel.

Select Yahoo Mail users in the United States and Australia will begin to experience the social features of the smarter inbox experience, including the new Welcome Page, inbox and folder-view enhancements, and connections and Updates functionality beginning today. A more limited group of users based in the United States will begin beta testing the open applications today. Yahoo plans to bring together the social and open features into Yahoo! Mail in the first half of 2009.


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