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Yahoo Mail rolls out 1 TB storage space: Takes aim at Gmail

Way back when free email services like Hotmail and Yahoo dominated the market, a upstart decided to disrupt the whole scene. Free email services were only offering a mere 2 or 5 MB space for your inbox, Google rolled out Gmail with 1 GB storage. Before Google became the big web giant it hired Marissa Mayer among it’s first few employees.

Marissa Mayer worked on web interface and web server projects but also spent time on some iconic projects like Gmail (source) and Google Maps among other things. Today the same Marissa Mayer is the CEO of Yahoo and now Yahoo is borrowing a page from Gmail and trying to be disruptive by offering a staggering 1 TB storage space with Yahoo Mail.

Yahoo Mail has a new interface with new themes that stay across platforms which other than web include Android, iOS and Windows. The important the changes are the 1 TB storage space, increasing the limit of filters to 200 up from 100 previously.  There is also a new compose layout.

Yahoo Mail New UI

It also allows attachment photos to be previewed in full screen.

Yahoo Mail’s new UI remains consistent on mobile devices. The Android and iPhone apps will also have a new swipe features. Yahoo is harnessing the power of Flickr photos to give beautiful new themes to users.  The 1 TB space is just so much, that it might be very lucrative for small businesses which are shelling out money for a lot less storage space with their email service.

Yahoo Mail on Mobile phones
Yahoo Mail on Mobile phones

Yahoo Mail is very different than it was a year ago and it seems it is finally pulled its socks up. unfortunately Yahoo does does not have its own cloud storage service like Google Drive, but it has a collaboration with Dropbox for allowing users to save attachments from Yahoo mail.

The new features are being rolled out starting today but I have not yet received the new look Yahoo Mail. If you have already got access to the new UI, do drop in your comments your views on it.

via (Yahoo Mail Blog)

Link: Yahoo Mail Android | iOS

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Yahoo Answers gets a redesign and new features

While searching for answers online, you probably have been directed to a Yahoo Answers page from time to time. Yahoo Answers was a question and answer service that allowed users to ask questions on any topic and other users to write in their answers. The website was very popular and still has a lot of questions asked and answered on it. Only problem with it was that Yahoo itself was ignoring it for years.

Yahoo’s CEO being a ex-Googler would know how regularly Yahoo answers get featured on Google’s search results. So it is not a surprise to see Yahoo Answers not being neglected anymore.

Today, Yahoo Answers got a much needed fresh coat of paint and some very useful features. The new design makes it easy to understand how Yahoo Answers work. It has a home dashboard which show users activity, questions marked in a watchlist or even recent questions asked.

Here is a screenshot of the new design:

Yahoo Answers NewNow compare that to the old design which is still active outside the US.

Yahoo Answers Old

The search feature on Yahoo Answers is a lot better than before. It prompts questions much like Google search does. Also now there are no closed questions but all questions asked remain available for reference. The notifications on questions has also been updated with more easy access on every question and answer. The new design also supports mobile platform a lot better than previous version.

The biggest change is support for multimedia. Now answers can include images and videos. You can view an introduction to all the new features in the video below.

Yahoo Answer’s competion

While Yahoo was asleep at the wheel with its Q&A community, there have been a notable competitor. One that is seeing a lot of questions answered is Quora and it marched ahead thanks to its social media integration and also allowing people to post answers with images and videos from other web sources. Google is also looking to roll-out a new video help service called Google Helpouts.

What are your views on the new design for Yahoo Answers? Do drop in your comments.

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Yahoo gets a new logo after 18 years

Yahoo today unveiled its new logo. The Yahoo logo has been the same for over the last 18 years. Yahoo had previously run a 30 days of change campaign where everyday for a month a variation of the logo was posted. Yahoo has had major failures over the years and still is considered a company with a tricky future. But in the last year, under a new CEO it has tried very hard to re-invent itself.

So here is the newly designed logo for Yahoo against different backgrounds.

Yahoo New Logo
Yahoo’s New Logo

The new logo does not have any straight lines. The letters have thin and thick strokes.

The new logo is not impressive. It is different mainly in the context of typography but still retains the idea of spelling out the word “Yahoo!” from the old logo. By the way, here is the old logo which Yahoo has discarded.

Yahoo Old Logo
Yahoo’s Old Logo

Marissa Mayer is a ex-Google employee who took over as Yahoo CEO. She is a geek and has tried to reinvent Yahoo back to its geeky glory. The Yahoo CEO has not disappointed with her hands on with the new logo designing process. She also outlined the process of creating the new logo in a blog post.

Yahoo has lately over the last year made a lot of noise. They firstly bought Tumblr and rolled out 1 TB free hosting space for photos on Flickr. They have revamped email services with a new interface or rather phased out the older email interface. Yahoo mail is even offering saving attachments directly into Dropbox accounts as they do not have their own cloud sync service. Yahoo seems to be getting its act togeather but I feel it might be too late for it to ever reach its former glory.

Getting back to the new logo for Yahoo, what do you think about it? Do drop in your comments.

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AltaVista the oldest search engine is no more!

When I first started using the internet it was mainly to look up email from cousins and relatives abroad. This was back in 1999 and Google was not as famous, Gmail was not even around and it was still 5 years before anything like Facebook happened.

Alta Vista was the first search engine I had probably used and it felt awesome that you could type in just about anything into a text box and get relevant results. So it was a little sad to see Yahoo declare the end of Alta Vista search engine for good. Alta Vista was probably not the oldest search engine but was the oldest as far as popularity was concerned. The search engine shuts down on 8th July.

alta_vista_1999
Alta Vista Search engine back in 1999

Wrong decisions in the past

While Google started catching attention, Alta Vista was still at the height of it’s popularity. Alta Vista had a simple design with focus on search results. The company was bought by Compaq and a series of changes happened. One of them was to make the website more a portal and less a search engine.

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This lead to the steady decline of Alta Vista as a search engine and Google became king over time. Alta Vista was then sold to CMGI who was going to float a IPO for Alta Vista. This was in 2000 and the internet bubble burst, finishing off Alta Vista’s chances of becoming a publicly listed company.

Then Alta Vista was bought by Overtures which in turn was acquired by Yahoo. This made Alta Vista a Yahoo product and like many products owned by Yahoo, Alta Vista kept on the decline.

Today along with several other older services, Yahoo announced it would be shut down. An important part of internet’s living history is now a closed chapter.

(via Yahoo Blog)

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Yahoo’s Big Day: Buys Tumblr and offers 1 TB space with Flickr

Yahoo has just capped off a very significant day for themselves. Firstly they have announced the acquisition of the blogging platform Tumblr. In the second announcement, Flickr has now rolled out 1 Terabyte free storage for all users. This is a big deal for Yahoo which has recently struggled to keep its users and more importantly find new users.

The Tumblr Acquisition

Yahoo has bought Tumblr for a estimated $1.1 Billion. That is a lot more money than say Facebook shelled out for Instagram. So what does Yahoo gain from Tumblr?

Tumblr - Yahoo

Image Credit

  • Tumblr has 300 million unique visitors on it and has over 900 posts published every second.
  • The Yahoo+ Tumblr deal will grow traffic by 20% and its audience will go up by 50%. This increases the advertising opportunities.
  • Mobile seems to be a focus for Yahoo with Tumblr’s acquisition.
  • Yahoo’s CEO in her own Tumblr blog announced that Tumblr will be treated as an independent entity and their CEO David Karp will remain. More importantly in her own words she assuaged the feelings of Tumblr’s community with the quote “We promise not to screw it up”.
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Flickr gets 1 TB free space

Flickr is still very popular and its not surprising Yahoo chose to make big announcements with it.

Flickr - 1 TB Space

  • Flickr users get 1 TB storage space free. That means if you upload 6.5 Megapixel photo on Flickr, you can upload half a million of them and for free.
  • The big storage size means Flickr now remain relevant as a storage option especially with the rise of backup options from Google and Apple.
  • Pro Flickr account users will continue to get unlimited storage space and have stats show up for visits on their photos. But new users cannot signup for Pro accounts. That basically means Flickr Pro is more or less going away in time.

Flickr might have rebooted with huge storage space but it will be interesting to see how it manages to complete with the likes of say Google+ which offers to store photos from a phone directly to the cloud. This helps freeing up space on the phone without worrying about losing any photos.

What are your views on Yahoo’s big announcements today? Do drop in your comments.

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Yahoo kills off Upcoming, SMS Alerts and Mail Classic

YahooWith the decline of Yahoo so rapid it has a host of services which are either out-dated or under-utilized. Yahoo has been restructuring under former Googler Marisa Mayer as its CEO. Hence it is not surprising that Yahoo is systematically shutting down a host of not so popular services, something Google is known to do periodically.

Upcoming.org: The website was popular a few years ago to plan local events. Though the website had many redesigns under Yahoo, it never managed to become become big.This is an idea, that is still relevant as listing events locally is still something even Facebook has not managed to get right. Yahoo will be discontinuing ‘upcoming’ on 30th April.

Yahoo SMS Alerts: Yahoo allowed updates from its own services like Yahoo News, Yahoo Weather, Yahoo Sports and Finance. These updates were sent over as SMS text messages to mobile phones.

The day of SMS alerts seem to be over now. Yahoo recommends users to download their mobile aps for notifications. Users can also visit alerts.yahoo.com and select your alerts to be sent via email or on Yahoo Messenger instead of SMS. This service will be killed off on 30th April.

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Older versions of Yahoo Mail: Many Yahoo mail users have been resistant to chance. Much of this is because Yahoo has been indulgent by hosting different versions of the UI for emails. One such popular one was Yahoo Mail classic version.

These old versions were mainly built for the dial-up era. Today, they seem to be irrelevant and are rightly being shut-down. The old versions of Yahoo Mail will be shut down on 3rd June 2013.

Other shutdowns: Yahoo Deals, Yahoo Kids, Yahoo Mail and Messenger feature phone apps (J2ME) are other services which Yahoo has decided to do away with. These services will also end on April 30, 2013.

Yahoo should have given users more time

Yahoo’s announcement leaves most users only 11 days notice (exception is older versions of Yahoo) before they shutdown these services. Eleven days is too little time for people to backup data or find alternatives. Compare that to Google which announced the the discontinuation of Google Reader but has given readers 3 months notice to find useful alternatives.

Have you used any of these services and more importantly will you miss any of these? Do drop in your comments.

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Yahoo Mail integrates with Dropbox!

“My enemy’s enemy is my friend” is a quote that is true for both Yahoo and Dropbox. Yahoo announced that Dropbox will be available on the service. The integration with Dropbox means, Yahoo mail users can directly store their attachments files like photos, videos and documents on Dropbox.

Once users on Yahoo mail, check an email with an attachment, they will see a pop-up that asks them to store attachments with Dropbox.

Dropbox_Yahoo

Yahoo and Dropbox are natural allies

Yahoo has a popular web mail service but no cloud offering as yet. It is also a company on the decline from its glorious past and trying to get back on its feet. It probably cannot now invest in a cloud offering.

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Dropbox on the other hand is a new company and does not have the resources to build themselves an email service. Gmail’s allowing users to save attachments to Google Drive must be impacting Dropbox.

So it makes sense that Dropbox and Yahoo are working together being natural allies. But the problem of attracting new users in big numbers still continues for Yahoo. Dropbox too has a uphill battle against the likes of Google Drive and Microsoft’s SkyDrive.

(via Dropbox)

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Geocities is Still Not Completely Dead!

Ten years ago when someone wanted to put up a public internet profile, it would usually be on Geocities. Geocities had the potential to become something great like what Facebook is today but it was acquired by Yahoo and it pretty much end up being neglected for years.

Geocities was shutdown by Yahoo in October 2009. That was almost three years ago. One could safely say that Geocities is dead. All their pages are supposed to return 404 errors.

Apparently Geocities survives or atleast 97,100 URLs on Geocities are still active. Carry out a search site:Geocities.com on Google and you will get thousands of results. None of these links seem to return “Page not Found 404” errors and the actual Geocities websites are still alive and kicking.

There seems to be no explanation on why these Geocities URLs are still alive. Interesting when I tried the same search on Bing Search, it returned no results.

It seems Google does a really through job of scouring the dark alleys of the internet. As someone who put up very amateurish personal profile online way back in year 2000 on Geocities, I was quite happy to find that some part of it still survives on the internet. 🙂

Do drop in your comments.

(via Hacker News)

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Yahoo launches ‘Search Browser’ Axis which is actually a browser add-on!

Yahoo has launched Axis which is it calls a new search browser. I was a little surprised on why Yahoo was launching a new browser, as I would imagine its best talent would be employed in improving search and other services.

Well Yahoo Axis is not exactly a browser but a set of browser extensions which work with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on the desktops. It is also available as a standalone app for iPhone or iPads.

Features of Yahoo Axis

  • The extension basically provides the ability to search for stuff online, saving a webpage as read later and bookmarking.
  • The layout is rather neat and search seems to be more visually attractive than the usual search engines which show a bunch of links.
  • Yahoo Axis will probably a lot more useful as phone and tablet apps. At the moment it is only available on iOS platform.

Yahoo might be a company in decline, but it still is visited by millions everyday. So this app might be quite a interesting development for users. The idea might be novel but I do think it is a case of too little, too late for Yahoo as a internet giant.

Here is the video demo of Yahoo Axis

What are your views on Yahoo’s Axis? Do drop in your comments.

Link: Yahoo Axis

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Yahoo Meme to Shut Down!

Almost two and a half years ago, Yahoo rolled out Yahoo Meme. It was supposed to be a Twitter killer. It allowed more than 140 charachters, allowed inserting photos or videos and more. I personally also found it a very attractive design but it simply could not match up to Twitter.

Today Yahoo has announced that they are shutting down Yahoo Meme. New registrations will be stopped from 25th April and on 25th May 2012, all the URL will be inaccessible.

How to Export Your Data from Yahoo Meme

If you  have been active on Yahoo Meme, it might be wise to backup or export all your photos and status messages you shared on it. You can use your Google ID to export all your data from this link.

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You can also delete your Yahoo Meme account from this link.

To be honest this was expected. It was probably the worst of all the social spinoffs failures which include the likes of Google Buzz.

I will add that it is not surprising to see yet another Yahoo product losing steam and being closed down. Yahoo has not been a technology leader and its empire has been in decline for the better part of the last decade.

What are your views on Yahoo Meme? Did you ever create an account there and did you use it? Do drop in your comments.