Yahoo Gives Aging Mail Another Upgrade

Yahoo Times Square

Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), which had said a major revamp of Yahoo Mail was on the way, is now rolling out the new look. The company boasts that its e-mail service has been “rebuilt from the ground up” and is now two times faster than the previous version. New features include the ability to share status updates with friends on Twitter and Facebook directly from the inbox, as well as a way to watch videos and look at photos within Yahoo Mail, rather than have to head to another site.

It’s worth noting that this is the second major update to Yahoo Mail during Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz’s tenure. A year ago, the company introduced a less cluttered interface for Yahoo Mail featuring fewer ads, along with some new social functions, in an attempt to add some new energy to the aging product.

Bartz, however, has acknowledged that while Yahoo Mail is still ahead of number two player Hotmail in the U.S., engagement has fallen. It’s not clear if these latest changes are enough to turn that around. Bartz has blamed both a “pretty old product” as well as a broader change in consumer behavior — a move by consumers to social networks, instead e-mail, for short messages — for the drop off.

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