June 3, 2013
Yahoo Ditches Classic Mail, Tells Users To Switch Or Leave
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Under the leadership of Marissa Meyer, Internet veteran Yahoo has been undergoing some major changes, including several facelifts of their offerings. Yahoo Mail, for instance, adopted a sleeker, more minimalistic style late last year. And it´s inevitable. As products and services are upgraded and improved, older versions must be abandoned.
Now, Yahoo has announced in a Help Post that the older version of their mail service, Yahoo Classic, will no longer be available as of this week. Users of the old system must switch to the new service, download their mail via IMAP, or leave the platform altogether. Users who choose to stay must also agree to a new terms of service, which some could find troubling.
Previously Yahoo mail differed from popular Gmail service in one significant way. As with everything else Google offers, Gmail doubles as an information vehicle, serving up data about the user that they obtain through their inbox. The search giant then sells this information to advertisers to drive targeted ads, or ads built on specific information from the inbox. The new Yahoo Mail will also be scanning inboxes for this information. According to the new Yahoo Help post, the new mail will use “automated content scanning and analyzing of your communications content, which Yahoo! uses to deliver product features, relevant advertising, and abuse protection.”
New Yahoo Mail users do, however, have an ℠opt out´ option. As noted in the Help post, those who don´t want to be served specific ads based on their inbox can remove themselves via the Ad Interest Manager in their settings panel.
Yahoo also seems keen on getting users switched over to the new style of Mail quickly, not only giving an immediate notice but also offering only two options: Use another service or leave.
Those who want to continue using their Yahoo Mail addresses can still do so without switching to the new service, but they´ll have to assemble an IMAP system first. Doing this allows other mail clients, such as Mail for Mac or Outlook, to pull email from the Yahoo account and deliver it through the app. IMAP is a common email protocol, but some Yahoo users may not be familiar with it. Yahoo has also provided instructions to help these users make the switch. Otherwise the company simply provides information on how to burn the Yahoo account to the ground and start over somewhere else. Those who had been paying for a premium Yahoo Mail Plus account will receive a prorated refund for the unused portion of their subscription.
Since taking the CEO´s chair last spring, Mayer has overseen many upgrades and improvements to Yahoo´s services, including their news pages and mobile apps. Mail was upgraded last December as new apps for Android and iOS were released, making the Mail experience unified across multiple platforms. The new changes weren´t only meant to make Mail look the same on tablets as it does on the web. Some under-the-hood tweaking was done to make Mail faster and more responsive as well. The company later released significant upgrades to their Flickr app as well as releasing a brand new weather app which borrows pictures from the Flickr service to display the forecast.