Friday, October 11, 2013

Yahoo!: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

CEO, Marissa Mayer has been trying to get Yahoo! out from under Google's shadow since she started this past spring with large company wide changes, such as no telecommuting (which is quite ironic as I am typing this blog post from my dining room at home).  The most recent change that Yahoo! has launched has an eerily familiar look and feel to it. This past week Yahoo!'s campaign to revamp its email service started to come to life, with the introduction of Yahoo!'s email redesign.

Some of Yahoo Mail's new features include a number that were previously only available on premium Mail Plus, such as disposable email addresses, up to 200 filters, automatic email forwarding, offline access and photo-rich themes.  While Gmail has been using themes since 2008, Yahoo Mail's service has included high-definition backgrounds and the option to use custom photos, which are both applied across devices.
After looking at Yahoo Mail's new look and you have a little déjà vu you are not alone, this new redesign has a very Gmail-esque feeling to it.   The reason why Yahoo Mail seems so familiar is the addition and presentation of threaded email streams, which was one of Gmail's first distinguishing features.  In addition to this Gmail known feature, many aspects of the user interface have Gmail written all over it, such as the backdrop, layout, left-hand toolbar, button positioning and font.

While it may feel like Yahoo Mail is taking the easy way out mimicking some of Gmail's attributes, Marissa Mayer may have the jist of it - don't mess with something that isn't broken! If Yahoo Mail could not figure out a way to out-innovate Google, why not try and add onto something that they have established and is working? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

In any case, Mayer and Yahoo! cannot rest on Google's laurels - they will have to figure out of way to legitimately compete with Google, but as each day passes it seems like Mayer's job is getting harder and harder.

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