Verizon, which announced a few months ago that it was dumping 3.5 million email addresses, is now associated with another inconvenience for email users: TechCrunch reported yesterday that Tumblr and Yahoo accounts will no longer be accessible through AT&T email.
The reason? The partnership between Yahoo and AT&T is coming to an end. And Yahoo is now part of Verizon.
According to TechCrunch, this notice was posted Sunday by Tumblr:
Starting on June 30, 2017, att.net customers will no longer be able to log in to their Yahoo and Tumblr accounts through email addresses with the following domains: att.net, ameritech.net, bellsouth.net, flash.net, nvbell.net, pacbell.net, prodigy.net, sbcglobal.net, snet.net, swbell.net, and wans.net. Affected customers will have to update their email addresses to something with a different domain.
How disruptive. Verizon at least gave users a couple of months to switch their accounts; this shift gives consumers only until Friday of this week.
Clearly, this is a hassle for AT&T users who have also signed up for Tumblr and Flickr. Will it have any impact on marketers?
There will be some. In their haste, some affected consumers could neglect to notify their favorite brands of the switch. And the brands will have to figure out their new email addresses.
That can be done, however. And given the current email service lineup, the impact could be negligible. Gmail is now the most popular email service, Outlook is a distant second and Yahoo is an even more remote third, according to consumer research by Adestra. AT&T barely figures.
But it does raise an issue. Marketers discuss channels, devices and brands as if they were immutable. They’re not: Like many things, they’re at the mercy of corporate mergers and other changes that have nothing to do with technology. As TechCrunch writes: “While there is a level of inconvenience for AT&T customers, this is less about net neutrality and more about unwinding those corporate deals.”
In the end, it probably just means more email accounts for Gmail.