Today we are excited to launch the new Yahoo! Mail Beta – a substantially updated version of Yahoo! Mail that will make our leading web-based email service even better. With the new Yahoo! Mail Beta, you will get an even more comprehensive and seamless email experience that will function across multiple devices. These new communications features will provide you with an easier, faster, and safer email experience, enabling a more productive, entertaining and informed online experience.
Online communications have become so much more than simply email messages. Millions of times a day people send each other links to videos and pictures and receive notices about activity in their favorite social networks. Our goal with the new Yahoo! Mail Beta is to make it easier for users to engage in these multi-media and social experiences. For example, rather than having to click on a link to a video or pictures being shared with you that spawns a new browser window or tab, Yahoo! Mail Beta will provide you with the ability to directly access photo slideshows and video players directly within their inbox from services like Flickr, Picasa and YouTube. In the future we hope to allow you to easily post comments and status updates directly from email messages as well. Features like these save you time and allow you to get back to your inbox view easily to complete the tasks you started.
These features are enabled by extending the same basic technology that uses computer systems to identify patterns to identify SPAM, malware and viruses in messages. Leveraging that same pattern-matching technology, we can identify words, links, names, email addresses, and subjects in email to learn what matters most to you. This allows us to provide you with features such easy access to slideshows and videos in your email. It will also enable us to identify keywords in messages to make advertising more relevant. Advertising is what supports our free content and allows us to provide unlimited mail storage. Ads are an important part of the online experience and we’d like them to be at least as useful as the content you are accessing on our services.
How interest-based advertising works and your choices
In order to make our ads more relevant and useful for you, we make educated guesses about your interests based on your activity on Yahoo!’s sites and services – the pages you view, the links you click, the ads you view and click, and the searches you conduct. Now with Yahoo! Mail Beta, our “guesses” will also be informed by keywords from email. These keywords may contribute to the interest categories we assign to your browser for interest-based ads that we show throughout the Yahoo! Ad Network. This scanning won’t cause you to see any more ads in Yahoo! Mail Beta or from Yahoo!, but you will hopefully see more relevant ones.
We are committed to providing consumer control over interest-based advertising. Yahoo! Ad Interest Manager allows you to see and manage your interest categories or opt-out of interest-based advertising altogether. You can also see all of our standard interest categories. If you’ve opted out before, that opt-out remains in effect. No keyword data from email is used to inform interest-based ads from the Yahoo! Ad Network once you’ve opted out.
Innovation with integrity
We are always striving to make our products better. It’s essential in a competitive marketplace and we believe that it’s good for consumers. This means adding new features, improving design and anticipating the needs of the community of email users. But while new features can be hugely beneficial, change can also be jarring and disruptive, especially when they happen frequently or without advanced notice. We take it as our responsibility to be very clear about the changes that we make in our products and to describe what effect this might have on you. I call this innovation with integrity. Change is a constant and brings great benefits. But if you don’t understand or consent, then it can be a problem.
During the beta period for our new Mail product, we welcome your feedback on our new product features and design. We are really proud of the new Yahoo! Mail Beta and hope that it represents the innovation with integrity that we strive to provide you. Clarity, honesty and choice are the keys to user trust. We work hard to earn and keep your trust each and every day.
Chief Trust Officer