Jonsein’ For Yahoo’s New Mail

I’ve had a Yahoo email address for years. I use it whenever I buy something online. Recently, I’ve been reading about the company’s beta release of its new Yahoo! Mail product. The more I hear, the more patience I lose with the existing model. Come on Yahoo, help a brother out.
Here’s what Khoi Vinh of Subtraction is saying:

For security reasons, POP3 traffic is restricted to me during the workday now, so now I have to rely on Web-based email clients, a genre of net software for which I’ve never managed to drum up very much enthusiasm. Managing my email box over the Web is a bit like providing technical support to my mother over the phone; it’s halting and inelegant at best, and frustrating and time-consuming at worst. No matter how many gigabytes of free storage and no matter how much Ajax-goodness is conscripted into the service of the user interface, Web-based mail clients can’t hold a candle to the experience of a desktop email client — even one as convoluted and inscrutable as Microsoft Outlook. And that’s saying a lot.
However, the beta release of Yahoo Mail comes close. To amend my unfortunate workday exile from POP3, I started to use this stunning online email client last week, thanks to a scarce beta invitation rounded up for me by my friend Richard. Having been in a private beta testing phase since last fall, it’s by now the consensus that this version of Yahoo Mail will be, once it’s released, the best Web client available — I happen to agree.
You’ve probably heard that the new Yahoo Mail goes to extraordinary lengths to approximate the interaction behaviors of a desktop email client. It’s something altogether more amazing, though, when you see it and use it for yourself: messages can be dragged and dropped into folders, email addresses are auto-completed as you compose new messages, and right-clicking produces true and useful contextual menus. It’s a uniformly well-executed experience that’s far and away superior to the whiz-bang eyesore of its most obvious rival, Google’s Gmail. This is due in no small part to the fact that the new Yahoo Mail is hugely more beautiful than all of its competition; its aesthetic is first-rate and realized with aplomb. Fit and finish counts.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I’ve been using the beta for the last 3 months or so. His overview is spot on, but I have some gripes.
    One, no Safari support. Not that big of a deal as I usually have Firefox running on my Mac. But if it can run on the Mac in Firefox, there isn’t any reason why it shouldn’t be Safari-compatible as well.
    Two, It duplicates the look and feel of a desktop app too much. Rather than taking a good look at a better way to handle email (and web-based email specifically), it foregoes innovation to mimic the standard application functionality. Granted that may be the safe road to take for the masses, but as someone who receives on order of 200+ mails/day I want something that works ‘my’ way.
    Three, at times it is dog slow. And, a few times it has crashed the browser choking on an HTML-formatted email.
    But GMail as a whiz-bang eye-sore? The beauty of Gmail is the search capability and the way mails are filed. I keep a clean inbox and being able to pull a past email to the front with a ultra-fast search function is far more efficient in my book.
    Secret to scoring a beta for Yahoo mail? Click the What’s New link in your Yahoo mail and get signed up on the list. I’ve *heard* the average wait time is about 2 weeks, but priority is being given to those who have the paid 19.99/year upgrade…