Yahoo! Mail Welcomes Facebook

June 2nd, 2010 |


Soaking in the world and spitting it out, one blog post at a time. Consider me the Clark Kent of web stories without the cool glasses, the fancy suit and, well, the muscles.

I’ve never been a fan of things I don’t need. I don’t need a snuggie come this cold winter, I don’t need a bread maker from one of those shopping networks, and I don’t need Yahoo Mail teaming up with Facebook. In late May, Yahoo announced that its mail service would be stepping up by making the web more accessible through Yahoo Mail. Sites like Pandora, Flickr, YouTube, and popular blogging sites were magically incorporated last year to seamlessly transfer their updates to your user account for your viewing pleasure. The big news, however, came when Yahoo announced that your Facebook news feed would be accessible through Yahoo Mail. Not only will you see the latest viral videos that your friends ‘like’, but your mail even gets pre-sorted thanks to an upgrade. You can now read the important things first, but those e-mails about inheriting a large sum of money from an African Prince will have to wait. Sorry Nigerian scammers.

The addition of Facebook is definitely a move to help gain more users as well as gain ground on the giant Gmail. The company has been dueling with Google’s Gmail for years, with Google taking a large step recently with the ‘Buzz’ feature which allowed users to share updates with their friends. The mediocre mail service offered from Yahoo is probably hoping that it’s pro-Facebook attitude will help some of the 400 million users from Facebook come to Yahoo.

With this Facebook feature, users can interact with their Facebook account right on their Yahoo Mail page. If you get an e-mail about that special someone leaving a comment on your wall, instead of clicking on the given link which will take you to your Facebook page, now you can just respond live. I do believe that this feature will be a step in the right direction for Yahoo, despite similar endeavors with Twitter and YouTube never having really caught on.

Jason Titus, vice president of Yahoo’s communications division noted in The Wallstreet Journal, “We’re more of an aggregator rather than a core social network,” when speaking of the new change. But all of these changes doesn’t change the fact that Yahoo mail still lacks as a service compared to Gmail which has great features like texting, calendar, video chat, themes, tons of space, and perhaps most importantly, an overall efficient site. While I appreciate Yahoo’s attempt at integrating other sites, I can easily go to those sites quickly. In short, the changes won’t make me a Yahoo Mail convert. However, if you already love Yahoo mail,  this Facebook add-on will probably be one of your favorites. As for you, Mr. Yahoo, you can put lipstick on a pig, but at the end of the day it’s still a pig, and you are still a subpar mail provider.

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Sunil Ramsamooj