Yahoo just unveiled a major redesign of Yahoo Mail that includes a Gmail-like way to view threaded conversations and offers Flickr photos as background themes.
The update is the second significant revamp of Yahoo Mail in less than a year, reflecting the company’s ongoing efforts under CEO Marissa Mayer to revitalize its core properties to boost user engagement. Yahoo Mail is especially important because it can serve as a gateway for people to spend time with other Yahoo offerings.
Making Yahoo part of consumers’ daily habits has been one of Mayer’s mantras since taking the helm more than a year ago.
But with 100 million daily users, Yahoo Mail has long since fallen behind Google’s Gmail, the world’s largest email service, boasting 425 million monthly users. Considering that, and Mayer’s background at Google, perhaps it’s not so surprising the latest version of Yahoo would take on more of the look and feel of Gmail.
The redesign allows users to see entire email exchanges around a topic in the inbox, making it easier to find specific messages within an email conversation. “At the end of the day, being able to see an entire conversation can save you quite a bit of time. Context is king,” wrote Jeffrey Bonforte, senior vice president, communication products, in a blog post today.
By clicking a magnifying glass icon next to a sender’s name, the user can also see all the messages sent from that person. Frequent actions like search, starring and deleting are now one-click options that appear when hovering over an email. To streamline the screen, users can also collapse the left-hand toolbar.
Yahoo also capped previously unlimited email storage at 1 terabyte (1,000 gigabytes), which is good for 6000 years of email, according to a Verge report.
But it’s not all about efficiency. Yahoo has integrated Flickr into its upgraded mail service, letting people choose from a set of sweeping nature photos from the photo-sharing service to dress up their inbox. It’s also a move to get more people to use another one of Yahoo’s revamped core properties.
The changes are rolling out today on the Web and in the Yahoo Mail apps on Android, iOS and Windows 8.