About Yahoo! Mail

Yahoo! Mail: Yahoo! Mail is a web e-mail service from Yahoo!

What is Yahoo! Mail?

Yahoo! Mail is a free web-based e-mail service. It is offered by the internet conglomerate Yahoo! It was launched by Yahoo!, when it attempted to enter the web mail arena and take on Hotmail. Hotmail, at the time, was quickly gaining users and was on the fast track to becoming the most used e-mail service.

When was Yahoo! Mail founded?

Four11 had launched the Rocketmail webmail service in 1997. On, October 8, 1997, Yahoo! announced that it had acquired Four11 for $96 million. The main reason for the acquisition was the Rocketmail webmail service. Yahoo! had chosen to acquire Four11 rather than develop its own web e-mail client, as they claimed that it would have taken time, at least 4 to 6 months. At the time, its competitor, Hotmail was gaining ‘thousands of thousands’ users weekly. Yahoo! claimed that if it had waited months to launch their own product, they would have surely lost market share.

What are some of the features that Yahoo! Mail offers?

Yahoo! Mail ran pretty much similarly following its acquisition. However, on March 21, 2002, Yahoo! eliminated free software client access and introduced the $29.99 per year Mail Forwarding Service. In the summer of 2002, Yahoo! Mail also underwent a redesign. The redesign introduced drop-down menus in DHTML, different category tabs, as well as a new user-customizable color scheme.

Furthermore, in November 2002, Yahoo! launched another paid service, Yahoo! Mail Plus. This service offered additional features and services, of course at a price. These new services included 25 megabytes of email storage, 10 megabyte message size limit, up to 10 attachments per email, POP Access and Forwarding, archiving of email messages for offline access, ability to send messages from Yahoo! Mail using other email domains, 200 blocked addresses and 50 filters to help screen unsolicited emails, no promotional taglines in messages, and no account expiration.

In April 2004, Yahoo! Mail increased their mailbox storage in response to the new kid on the block. This was of course Gmail, which was launched on April 1, 2004 and offered 1 GB of storage. Yahoo! Mail now offered 100 MB of storage for basic accounts and 2 GB of storage for premium accounts. Eventually, Yahoo! Mail increased its free storage quota 1 GB and later still allowed unlimited storage.

According to Wikipedia, the latest version of Yahoo! Mail also offers the following features:

  • Yahoo! Calendar integration
  • Yahoo! Messenger integration
  • Windows Live Messenger integration
  • SMS Messaging in certain countries
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Unlimited storage
  • Improved search facilities
  • Applications (Piknic, Flickr, Wordpress and more)

Yahoo! also bought out Oddpost on July 9, 2004. Oddpost was a webmail service that simulated a desktop email client, such as Microsoft’s Outlook. Oddpost had features such as drag-and-drop support, right-click menus, RSS feeds, a preview pane and increased speed, using email caching to shorten response time. Many of these features were incorporated into an updated Yahoo! Mail service.

 How many different types of accounts does Yahoo! Mail offer?

Yahoo! Mail offers two distinct types of accounts: Free and Business. Wikipedia lists the following features for the two:

The Free Account:

  • Email storage capacity: unlimited
  • Email attachment limit: 25 MB (up to 100 MB via the built-in 'Attach Large Files' app)
  • Account expiry on inactivity: 6 months plus 2 months for each year the account held active. The account can be retrieved but all stored data, such as emails, are lost.
  • Supported protocols: POP3 in Asia or via YPOPs!, IMAP via IMAP proxy or via Zimbra, SMTP, Mail Forwarding in some countries (but not in the US). US Users cannot order the POP3 / forwarding service – attempts give a currently not for sale error.
  • 100 filters to automatically sort incoming messages (200 filters for the Plus version)
  • Spam and virus protection.
  • Advertising is displayed on the screen while working with the email account. Text ads are added to the footer of outgoing messages, as of February 2011.
  • The Chinese version of Yahoo! Mail offers 3.5 GB quota and 20 MB attachments.

The Business Account:

  • There is a US$25 set-up fee and US$9.99 monthly fee.
  • Email storage capacity: unlimited
  • A quota of 10 email addresses.
  • Additionally, a user can pay US$35 per year to have up to five custom email addresses and a domain name.
  • Classic Yahoo! Mail underlines addresses and phone numbers in emails and allows the user to add them to the address book.

How popular is Yahoo! Mail?

By December 2012, Yahoo! Mail had 281 million users. It was the third-largest web-based email service at the time. Google’s Gmail was the first largest web-based email service, followed by Hotmail at second.

Image Courtesy: amazon.com, pcmag.com

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