Yahoo! is rolling out a major a social media upgrade to its Yahoo! Mail web app today, and this spells greater competition for Facebook Messages.
The new look Yahoo! Mail will not only manage emails but will also provide access to SMS, social media updates and instant messaging chats. These additions to the popular email platform brings Yahoo! Mail into direct competition with Facebook Messages, which was redesigned to mange similar services last year.
According to the Yahoo! Mail blog these updates allow users to, “Instantly respond to messages from Facebook, Yahoo! Groups, Yahoo! Mail and other webmail providers with a new easy reply bar… [and] view and share notifications and updates from Twitter, Facebook and Zynga.”
Last year Facebook redesigned its Messaging system to become a singular source for users conversations, regardless of the medium. Blake Irving, Yahoo! Mail’s Chief Product Officer pointed to similar thinking from Yahoo! when he described the company’s vision for its email client, “Yahoo’s vision for online communications brings together all the tools that people use to connect–e-mail, chat, SMS, and social updates–and makes it easier for them to share content and engage in conversations with the people that matter most to them.”
Although Yahoo! is playing catch up with Google and Facebook it still has a large userbase of 248 million people who will likely appreciate these improvement.
Also as part of this upgrade Yahoo! has improved the site’s speed and search functionality. The site has also been optimised for mobile use and comes with better spam filtering.