New Yahoo Mail Treats Customers to Old Advertising Tricks

Yahoo Arch

Yahoo Arch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is still the land of the free last time I checked.

But Yahoo forcing its new email down the throat of its user base beginning Tuesday, July 9, is another example of the old adage you get what you pay for.

Not one to leave well enough alone (who is these days?), Yahoos everywhere, including myself, are holding out, forcing the issue these past few weeks and refusing to switch to the new email—even though its nag screen tries to get us to make the switch each time we log in.

Yahoo already tried pulling the switch to “new” email in the not too distant past with lousy results. During that period, users were able to switch back. This time, for all intents and purposes, we won’t be able to switch back like we did before.

The last “new” email wool Yahoo tried pulling down over our eyes was completely PC; no, not politically correct, just pure crap. It was slow, the interface was buggy, nothing worked right, folders were kludgy and everyone simply screamed, “Nooooooooooo! Give. Me. My. Old. Email. Back. NOW!”

Yahoo’s big boys and girls eventually acquiesced to the will of their user base masses. After all, how can a kingdom remain a kingdom when the serfs have traversed the castle moat and are mounting its walls?

Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought it was pretty cool when Marissa Mayer pulled the plug on Yahoo’s work from home initiative. I do not know if it will be good or bad long term, but in the short term I liked the idea that if a company is struggling, trying to reconnect with its customers, and a good number of their employees are scattered about working from home, it could limit the ability to reconnect with customers at all. Face time is face time and Skype isn’t real face time nor is Apple’s FaceTime real face time. So, I thought, yahoo for the new Yahoo CEO—she’s not afraid to make game time decisions when it comes to the immediate future of the company she’s leading.

But Yahoo’s new email forced switcheroo?

It speaks of more of the same change for change’s sake that is done to try to market us to death because we need it and don’t understand how good it is that we are being shown ads of things that fit our profiles most closely to the products and services we need by people other than ourselves.

Tell me what to buy

I get that email ads create revenue streams for companies that provide free email services. I also get that new email interface changes aren’t necessarily done to improve the functionality and service quality of email for its users. It is done to enable us to be marketed to more effectively. But excuse me for just this once wanting to have free email work the way it always has—which is to say, quite good and suitable for our needs and purposes.

I always thought my email was my own email. I mean, if I need socks or something, I just go out to the store and pick some up. I don’t need Yahoo telling me Wal-Mart is having a sale on them when I log into my email. But I know my wishes will not be considered. Alas, Ms. Mayer is on a mission of Yahoo rejuvenation and I cannot marshal substantial enough forces to stand in her way.

But it doesn’t stop me from trying. I’ll continue holding out as long as I can before finally conceding and going over to the Yahoo dark, I mean, new, email side. And once I do, as soon as I find it no longer meets my needs, I will continue using it less and less.

English: Yahoo Homepage

English: Yahoo Homepage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That is what happens when you use free services. People complain about Facebook changing things all the time. They wish Zuckerberg and company would leave well enough alone. But that’s a free service, too. It just isn’t a free email service. We pay for upgrades to commercial software that allow us to continue doing the same things with them we’ve always done—Intuit’s Quicken comes to mind. But free email? Pardon me once more, but unless your user base screams, “you should change this,” you should leave it alone. Find another way to make money rather than interrupting the access of personal and business data by your users.

The Internet used to be the last frontier of the Wild West. Free stuff on the Internet used to be good enough for most of us. I think it still would be if CEO’s of companies trying to reinvent themselves would stop mucking about with it. Everything becomes about money. Everyone stopped believing free agent professional athletes switching teams saying, “It’s not about the money,” a long time ago.

Yahoo…you could have made us proud.


2 replies »

    • Hi Marcos,
      Yahoo is the world’s no. 3 provider of email. And, according to October 2012 ComScore rankings, it also is no. 1 in the U.S., with seven million more unique visitors (than Gmail) as well as a higher penetration. All this clearly shows almost 41 percent of Americans online use Yahoo, compared to just over 36 percent using Gmail and just under 19 percent using Hotmail. I stand by my assertion that Yahoo classic email is a success that they are messing with in order to generate more advertising revenue. The numbers tell the story. Whether the new Yahoo email will aid or hurt Yahoo’s chances with its already impressive installed user base remains to be seen. I will give it a try nonetheless when the time comes–and will no doubt weigh in specifically with how it “sucks” or does not in some future commentary here. Thanks for reading!


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