I Thought Yahoo Mail Was Dead
I don’t even remember my old Yahoo! email address. It seems like I abandoned it a lifetime ago… and if you’re a teenager, it probably was. In fact, I think the last time I logged into my Yahoo mail was 15+ years ago.
Like most people, I assumed the rest of the world left it behind just like I did. As it turns out, I was wrong.
Familiarity & Longevity
Yahoo! is older than most entities on the web. It was started in 1994 and quickly became one of the biggest names in Internet. Yahoo mail was made available in 1997 and was one of the first email providers.
Yahoo! rode the dot com bubble and survived the subsequent crash in 2001 when many other competitors simply didn’t make it. In a world where tech companies blink in and out of existence at an astonishing rate, Yahoo! provides a stability rarely found.
Their uncharacteristic longevity generated a lot of loyal users who trust Yahoo! and have simply made it part of their normal web routine over the course of many years.
Yahoo Mail is Vendor-Neutral
In the days of email infancy, most people acquired their email address from whoever they got their Internet service from. AOL, Prodigy, and CompuServe all provided email to their customers as part of their service.
My very first email was provided by the college I attended, but once I subscribed to America Online, I had an aol.com email address that became my primary email for years… until I changed ISPs. When I became a Comcast customer, suddenly I lost my aol.com email and ended up with a comcast.net address instead. Having to let all my contacts know I had a new email address was a hassle.
The Internet was ripe for the picking for a vendor-neutral email service that you could take with you regardless of your ISP. Yahoo mail was one of the first email providers that wasn’t tied to an ISP. While Gmail is the most popular choice these days, Yahoo mail had such a head start that tons of people still keep their accounts active.
Yahoo.com is Still Popular
While many people moved on to Google as their Internet home page over the last decade – and possibly forgot about Yahoo! altogether, it turns out that Yahoo! is still very popular.
According to Alexa, yahoo.com is the 9th most popular site on the web. Believe it or not, Yahoo! has actually modernized their website over the past 5 years and it’s become a great new landing page for web surfing. Their search engine is an excellent alternative to Google.
With quick and easy access to your Yahoo mail right on the front page of Yahoo! it actually make sense that people still use it – especially those who still like to use yahoo.com as their start page. Keeping true to it’s heritage as an Internet directory, Yahoo! provides a great jumping off point to lots of other places on the web.
Yahoo Mail: Final Thoughts
With high profile security issues and hacks abound, yahoo mail still isn’t my first choice for email service. And they probably never will be. That being said, it’s still used by a lot of people.
The key is that those people don’t necessarily use yahoo mail as their only email account. Many probably also have Gmail accounts or maybe even hotmail accounts (yes, that’s still around too).
Yahoo mail’s longevity lies in it’s deep roots and a surprisingly well designed website that still gets millions of visitors every day.
Sources & Additional Reading:
Wikipedia: Yahoo Mail