Yahoo Mail rolls out (another) photo-sharing tool

Will this be the feature that sticks it Yahoo's competitors? Probably not. But it does pull photos from your e-mail to display them in a gallery that can be filtered by sender, year, size, and file type.

Yahoo

Yahoo Mail has integrated a photo-sharing tool into its interface. No, it's not Flickr. It's a different photo-sharing tool.

Yahoo officially released its photos app today, aiming to give users a new way to organize all the photos ever sent to their inbox. With unlimited storage, that can be a lot of photos.

Dave McDowell, senior director of product management at Yahoo, said Yahoo Mail users exchange close to 500 million photos a day.

"The reason people share photos through email is there's more privacy and control of who sees the photo and (the app) is an extension of that," McDowell told CNET.

Amid recent a management shake-up and layoffs , this shiny new app sounds like another attempt at revamping Yahoo's lethargic mail service.

Yahoo Mail boasts 300 million users worldwide. The number is fairly steady from the 310 million users reported in October , but the stability may not looks as good when compared to Gmail's reported growth since then (from 260 million to 350 million).

McDowell said the company is just identifying ways to improve user experience.

"We're looking at our users and how Yahoo Mail users are using Yahoo Mail, and we know how important photos and photo sharing are to them, and how many photos are shared via email -- as opposed to a competitive move against Gmail or Hotmail," he said.

The new feature, which is accessible on the toolbar on the left side of the screen along with Yahoo Mail's other apps, pulls photos from your e-mail and displays them in a gallery that can be filtered by sender, year, size, and file type. If you scroll your mouse over an image, it will show the subject line of the e-mail if came from, which you can click on to get to the original e-mail.

Photos can also be sent in e-mail and be uploaded to Flickr with a few clicks. Additionally, any photo you upload from a mobile device from Flickr will automatically show up in your Yahoo Mail.

McDowell said this is different from the current, more-limited Flickr app, which displays your photostream and allows you to share the uploaded photos via e-mail. That app will be phased out eventually.

McDowell said the company hopes to build on this type of service. Yahoo Mail relaunched last year, along with the apps that sort attachments and receipts.

"This is a hint of where Yahoo and where the industry in general is heading," he said, adding that more apps are coming to the service within "the next year or so" that aim to better organize other content -- such as newsletters, which Hotmail announced its plans for last year .

Below is the perky promo video on the new app.

 

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