Email: The Killer App for the Web (5:08)

Posted on by Abby Johnson |

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Yahoo Mail is one of the biggest and most trusted emailing platforms on the Web. According to comScore, it has 325 million users and is continuing to grow. To find out more about Yahoo Mail and, specifically, what they are doing to leverage the evolving Web, WebProNews caught up with Mark Risher of Yahoo Mail to learn more about these areas.

Risher starts out by saying, “Email is and remains [to be] the killer app for the Web.” As he explains, everyone uses email and need it since it is a prerequisite for many new services now offered on the Web, such as social networks.

Yahoo is trying to enhance the communication aspects of email in order to make it a definitive destination for users that promotes direct messaging. One of the recent ways the Sunnyvale-based company is doing this is through a Facebook Contacts Import feature. It allows users to pull all their Facebook friends/contacts into their email. Risher says the company has been working on social services for some time and that this is just the beginning of what’s to come.

As email continues to get so many social features, WPN asked Risher if email would eventually turn into a social network. Risher says a social network works well when users want to broadcast something out. Email, on the other hand, is more controlled, trusted, and direct. While Yahoo will continue to add social features to email when they are appropriate, Risher says it will not replace email with a social network.

In regards to spam, Yahoo’s mission is “for all users to receive all the mail that they want and none that they don’t.” Yahoo blocks over 1 trillion spam messages each year and in 2009, reduced spam that reaches people by 35 percent.

Recently, Yahoo Mail has added many new features that allow users to send money via PayPal from their inbox, schedule evites, and organize their messages into categories.  Risher says users could expect similar features in the future.

Posted in: Mark Risher, Social Media, SPAM, SXSW Interactive 2010, Yahoo Interviews
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