Yahoo Mail's New App Platform: A Boon for Xoopit and Other Productivity Add-Ons

Xoopit, the email-enhancement service that helps you locate files, images and videos in your inbox, is getting a potentially big shot in the arm with the launch of Yahoo Mail’s application platform today.

Previously, Xoopit was only available to Gmail users who were proactive enough to install a Firefox plugin. But with the opening up of Yahoo Mail, Xoopit will now have more immediate access that webmail service’s 275 million monthly global users. And the company won’t have to hijack Yahoo Mail to do it, as it has essentially done with Gmail – Xoopit will be presented nicely in a Yahoo application gallery for easy installation.

This may be the opportunity for Xoopit to transform itself from a neat plugin into a widely-used tool that many people learn they can’t live their digital lives without. And we can expect many other productivity tools to follow suit, since Yahoo Mail’s application platform is focused more on serious tasks than finding better ways to poke your friends, which is often the case on social networks like Facebook. WordPress is another example of a productivity tool that hopes that to spur more usage by grabbing users’ attention during their daily (or hourly) email routine.

Xoopit is still exploring paths to profitability but says that Yahoo is exceedingly open to discussing ways that developers can monetize its platform. Details aren’t available yet on how Yahoo plans to do this exactly, but Yahoo may allow developers to display advertisements within Yahoo Mail and even offer to split revenue on their own advertisements somewhere down the road.

Google has yet to open Gmail to developers, although its Gmail Labs platform suggests that it will get there in time. AOL has also begun to open up.

On the flip side, startups like Zenbe and Postbox should be getting worried right about now.