Today Yahoo! launch Yahoo! Mail Beta. What they say is a faster, easier, safer, and more social communications experience than their current mail system.
As of today you can choose to opt-in to Yahoo! Mail Beta. However, what exactly the new benefits to this mail system are, seem a bit vague ( the video suggests it will shoot confetti into your face). The release states that the new mail system will let you “easily navigate and organize your inbox, browse photos and videos, more efficiently search for emails and benefit from improved spam protection.” Sounds great, but isn’t that what every other email system do as well?
That said they have brought in some nice features such as being able to connect with friends across social networks like Twitter and Facebook through improved instant messaging and texting tools right from within the inbox. You will also be able to view photos and videos from sites like Flickr, Picasa, and YouTube from within your email messages.
These are both very smart ways of trying to move users from other networks into the Yahoo walled garden, but that said other than being a convenience it is unlikely to provide Yahoo with a way to steal market share.
During this Beta period, Yahoo! has said they will continually be updating and add new features, so we look forward to seeing what else they add.