Yahoo! Mail beta to open to the public starting today

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The powerful new Yahoo! Mail beta will open up for general use starting today. Richard MacManus has a great post and podcast interview about the product that will roll out to all users in 18 countries over the next two weeks. There’s a lot of cool new features, but GMail still stands apart in some important ways. Update: You can now try out the beta at

Mike Arrington posted an early review of the beta when RSS was first rolled into the email client in November. He called the new Yahoo! Mail “an incredibly awesome product.”

In addition to adding RSS subscription functionality inside your email inbox, which as MacManus points out will probably make Yahoo! Mail the most widely used RSS reader on the planet, there are many more new features to watch for.

The big picture is that Yahoo! is aiming to use ajax to make it’s mail client function like a desktop client. Email messages can be dragged from one folder to another, multiple emails can be open at one time in tabs inside Yahoo! Mail and there’s calendar integration tied to Yahoo! Maps. Blog posting, possibly to a Yahoo! domain that will run more of the company’s ads, and IM both appear to be available through the webmail client as well. These sound like powerful new features.

What’s Gmail got to offer that could top that?
A number of things, actually. Yahoo! Mail doesn’t offer the tabbed conversations Gmail does, doesn’t appear to allow emails to be tagged and will still have to prove itself in spam protection and mail search. I don’t know whether Yahoo! Mail allows attachments like PDF and Excel files to be viewed as HTML, but that’s a very nice GMail feature as well. There’s no word yet whether Yahoo! will increase the storage of free accounts from 1GB to something closer to GMail’s 2.5+GB or increase the 10mb limit on attachments.

In other words, I think there’s still plenty of reasons to stay with GMail for now, but those for whom Yahoo! Mail is well suited are likely to be quite happy with it. Several of the new features, like RSS, drag and drop organization and calendar/maps could become a new standard in future offerings from other companies. It’s a good product that will change how hundreds of millions of people experience webmail and RSS.

  • batessa

    Wife works there – good to see them recognized. Cool company doing something innovative for SMBs.

  • mike

    why is this on techcrunchIT? nothing enterprise or particularly IT about this…

  • Cameron Christoffers

    Service gives small to midsized businesses a way to promote themselves. Young company getting some rec for a service slightly different than that of established players. Figured it was worth a read.

  • Clay S

    Hadn’t heard of them before, thanks for writing them up so I could check them out. They seem like a competitor Hubspot, which has had a lot of success by gaining a following through blogging. I find it a tad off that this company that focuses on Internet Marketing doesn’t have an immediately available blog.

  • Catch Search Marketing

    I think companies like Orange Soda, and eLocal have done a great job of making it east for small business owners to have a hands off approach to SEO, or Internet Marketing. Still though the most low cost method is doing the SEO themsleves, I think for select business owners that is obtainable.

    I’ve created an SEO product for small business to learn how to handle map submission, and organic rankings at

    Product is brand new, so still working out the kinks, it should improve over the next couple of months.

  • Donald Stone

    Orange Soda may very well have some potential in the future, but as a customer contacting our two comapnies for their SEO services we didn’t have a good experence. Their customer service has been poor at best. From day one our account manager promised great things only to transfer to another position in the company and leave us hanging with no action taken. Two months go by with no results and we call back only to be reassigned with apoligies to another manager with similar promises. He failed to follow through and then transfers out as well. We call back and get to a third manager who has tried to find some common ground, but today I login and find no results or history for either of our companies. My guess is they are growing to fast and killing their customer confidence in the process. We had a six month agreement and we are contemplating the process for seeking restitution for their failure to do as they agreed. If they sustain their growth pains they do have a great style for approcing SEO. We didn’t know they only presented us to Google alone. That was also disapointing.

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