Yahoo updates mail service to better compete with other services

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Yahoo announced Tuesday it will roll out a brand-new interface for its estimated 277 million users during the next few weeks. The company has been testing a beta version of this powerful upgrade for seven months and wants all its users to embrace this better working and smarter designed version of the popular service.

The most notable change users will notice is speed, as the service claims to be twice as fast as the old version. There’s also the new ability to send attachments up to 100 megabytes, a more powerful spam filter, and new social networking features, with Facebook and Twitter updates appearing inside Yahoo’s mailboxes.

I had the chance to try out the beta version of this massive facelift over the past few months, and it’s a considerable upgrade in terms of speed, organization, and efficiency. When the company says it works much faster, it’s dead on. I also appreciated being able to personalize the e-mail more with new colors. The only thing I don’t like about the update is a permanent vertical ad that always sits next to your inbox. Comparably, my Gmail account has no such ads.

There’s no doubt the revamp is aimed at stopping Yahoo users from fleeing to other services. Yahoo’s mail service has been slowly shedding customers to Gmail, which has 220 million users and keeps growing steadily. Yahoo lost 3 million users from April 2010 to April 2011, while Gmail gained 24 million users during the same period.

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