Ten Years Later, Yahoo Finally Updates Its Calendar

It’s literally been ten years since Yahoo updated its online calendar. And it’s been more than two years since Google launched its Web-based calendar. But tonight it will start rolling out a new drag-and-drop, Ajax calendar in a closed beta to Yahoo Mail users in the U.S., UK, India, Taiwan, and Brazil. You can sign up for it here.

The new Yahoo Calendar doesn’t do much that you cannot already do with Google’s or other online calendars. It is based on underlying technology from its Zimbra enterprise e-mail unit, and supports both iCal and CalDAV standards for the easy import and export of events. The new features compared to Yahoo’s Web 1.0 calendar are:

  1. Drag & drop interface.
  2. Layering (view multiple calendars in different colors or subscribe to someone else’s calendar)
  3. Zoom in when adding an event or appointment
  4. Integration with Flickr
  5. Can set email, IM or SMS reminders.
  6. To-Do list.

Compared to other onlne calendar’s such as Google’s. there is nothing novel here other than the zoom-in function and the Flickr integration. The Flickr feature adds some nice eye candy by randomly selecting highly rated Creative Commons photos as background thumbnails for up to eight days each month. In the future, Yahoo will let you upload photos from your own Flickr stream. It is also planning on letting users add events from Upcoming.org, or subscribe to calendars from Yahoo Sports (game dates), Yahoo Finance (earnings schedules), Yahoo TV (programming schedules for your favorite TV shows), and other properties including from partner sites.

Despite being a me-too offering, this should help Yahoo grow its market share in online calendars. It is already the market leader, even with its 1.0 product (consumer inertia is on its side). According to comScore, Yahoo Mail has 285 million users worldwide (88 million in the U.S.), and of those 8.1 million use the calendar (3.7 million in the U.S.). Google Calendar has 5 million users worldwide, and 2.4 million in the U.S. The Web 2.0 makeover should help Yahoo maintain its lead for at least a little while longer.