Yahoo Mail : The New MyYahoo
I’ve long thought that MyYahoo! was a strategic product that wasn’t being fully leveraged by Yahoo! — a kind of potential Internet “dashboard” that would help users organize their content, calendars, etc. While some people do use it that way, I don’t think it has lived up to this potential. (Others would argue that people just don’t customize things and so MyYahoo! isn’t as strategic as I’m claiming. Perhaps.)
Assuming the latter is true, Yahoo! Mail has the potential to become a mass market version of MyYahoo! and enable Yahoo! to leverage the massive Mail user base to drive usage of other services as well as search potentially. It’s sort of akin to AOL trying to leverage AIM, its most visible product.
This morning I went into Yahoo! Mail and found the company had opened up its email “beta” to the world. I found news in my inbox, which was initially disorienting but ultimately smart. Unconsciously I started reading the headlines.
Yahoo! has the number one mail product in the market and the number one mobile app in mail. Mail is a great opportunity to create the kind of “dashboard” experience I was talking about with MyYahoo!
Previously Yahoo! introduced RSS feeds into mail so it’s already a newsreader, although I suspect that feature has seen modest adoption (given the public’s general lack of understanding of RSS; it should be renamed “news” or “content” feeds).
Here’s what I think what Yahoo! should do:
- Take the search bar and move it “down,” making it more visible and prominent within the Mail environment.
- Take the most popular elements of MyYahoo! and the new Yahoo! homepage and integrate them into Mail as a startpage.
- Make Mail, the new homepage and MyYahoo! similar doorways into content and search.
Related: Yahoo! Mail blog discusses what’s new and forthcoming.
Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.