An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to

January 10, 2008

Social Yahoo Mail: from Contacts to Connections

Yahoo's CEO, Jerry Yang, made an announcement at CES about a new version of Yahoo Mail that will be more social and will integrate third-party apps.

"Jerry walked through a vision demo showcasing the possibilities of a more open Yahoo!, in this case focused on one of our key starting points, Yahoo! Mail. He showed how a smarter inbox could prioritize the most relevant connections in his life, both from Yahoo! and multiple social networks, and make all of his communications (email, IM, SMS, voice, status text, photos, etc.) simpler to manage. He then walked through how Yahoo! as an open platform—using Yahoo! Mail, Flickr, Yahoo! Local and Maps, and third party applications like Evite and eBay—could let you tap into the collective tastes, interests, and knowledge of the people you know and of the rest of the world. His example was trying to corral a bunch of very different friends, family, and execs for an awesome dinner. He was able to discover and explore what millions of people find interesting in Las Vegas (via Flickr and our TagMaps prototype) and what his dinner guests might enjoy as well."

It's interesting that the prototype allowed you to create "connections" by adding people from your inbox, your Yahoo Messenger list, but also from social networks like LinkedIn. So Yahoo tries to make the inbox more powerful by unifying all your connections and merging all their details in a single place. Based on information extracted from all these contexts, Yahoo Mail shows a list of the most important updates from your connections.

The third-party apps become tools that help you find information related to conversations and have access to your connections. The maps application can find a restaurant based on the preferences of those you want to invite for dinner.

Yahoo Mail moves from being a mail application to a social application that integrates mail in a broader context. Yahoo intends to connect you more with your contacts and to transform them into connections, links in a social graph.

{ Image licensed as Creative Commons by sdk. }

More screenshots from the Yahoo Mail prototype
Email connections
Updates from your Gmail contacts

This blog is not affiliated with Google.