In a bid to layer in more social features to its core Web offerings, Yahoo has retooled its email service, offering an opt-in beta version that promises simpler navigation and integration with social services like Facebook and Twitter.
The revamped Webmail also offers new slideshow features offering integrations with Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) YouTube and Picassa and Yahoo’s (NASDAQ: YHOO) own Flickr photo service.
“Online communication tools are an important part of people’s lives — whether they’re connecting with their friends and family, sharing pictures and videos, or keeping up on news across social networks,” Yahoo Chief Product Officer Blake Irving said in a statement. “We’ve built a powerful global framework for email that lets us quickly innovate and enhance this trusted service that people rely on every day.”
Yahoo also boasts that its new email service is faster and safer, touting new security enhancements that aim to better weed out spam and the malware it often contains. The company claims that a re-architected cloud computing framework has at least doubled the speed of its Webmail service.
The new Yahoo Webmail continues the company’s efforts to modernize its flagship products, including its search engine. In a campaign to position itself as a focal point for people’s Internet experience, Yahoo has been integrating popular third-party services into its own offerings.
Earlier this month, for instance, Yahoo rolled out a feature dubbed Immersive Search, an update to its Web search highlighting news and entertainment content.
Yahoo also has its sights set on the new devices that are becoming increasingly popular on-ramps to the Internet, particularly in the mobile arena. The company is touting its new email offering as a consistent interface and user experience across various devices, including Android handsets and Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) popular iPhone and iPad.
Yahoo Mail Beta completes our trio of mail experiences, seamlessly spanning the PC, Droid, iPhone and iPad,” Irving said. “For the millions of people who access email from a PC and a phone or tablet, there’s no better cross-device experience.”