Yahoo rolls out new e-mail service

After seven months in beta, Yahoo Mail launches, offering more social-networking tools and apps from partners such as YouSendIt and Evite baked into the service.

Jay Greene Former Staff Writer
Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).
Jay Greene

Yahoo has taken the "beta" tag off its Yahoo Mail.

The Web giant, which introduced the beta offering of its online e-mail service in October, begins rolling out the latest version of Yahoo Mail to its 284 million users worldwide today. The service is available in 43 markets and 26 languages around the world.

Yahoo has baked in some new social-networking features, including the ability to respond to Facebook friends from right inside an e-mail rather than jumping to Facebook. Users can also view slideshows and video from links directly inside their e-mail.

Yahoo has also prioritized contacts in the service, pushing e-mail from those in your address book to the top of unread messages. Users can also text and instant message from inside the e-mail program. And all instant messages and text messages are archived by default.

And Yahoo has included some apps in its e-mail service from third parties, such as the mega-file sending service YouSendIt, and the invitation application Evite.

"Yahoo's vision for online communications brings together all the tools that people use to connect--e-mail, chat, SMS, and social updates--and makes it easier for them to share content and engage in conversations with the people that matter most to them," Yahoo chief product officer Blake Irving said in a statement.