Yahoo Mail got a redesign in October, and users were not pleased at all. As part of the changes, Yahoo removed the ability to see multiple emails at once.
There was such outrage over the new Yahoo Mail that a Change.org petition called “Yahoo: Bring back the old version of Yahoo Mail!” garnered almost 39,000 signatures. Yahoo promised to make changes but even after they did a second redesign users weren’t impressed.
It seems the discontent isn’t a preserve of customers. Yahoo employees are also not convinced the redesigned Yahoo Mail deserves a moment of their time. According to a funny internal memo obtained by All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher on Sunday, Yahoo is having a difficult time getting its employees to switch to Yahoo Mail.
According to the memo, fewer than 25% of Yahoo employees use the company’s own email service, with most clinging desperately to Microsoft Outlook.
Yahoo’s SVP of Communications Products Jeff Bonforte and CIO Randy Roumillat practically begged Yahoo’s employees to switch to its “feature rich” Yahoo Mail service from Outlook, thanking the 25 percent (just 25 percent!) who have already made the change. The rest can’t give up Outlook, and Yahoo’s memo offers one reason why that may be: Employees who use Yahoo Mail apparently can’t get corporate emails on the Yahoo Mail app on their phones.
“It doesn’t feel like we are asking you to abandon some glorious place of communications nirvana,” Bonforte and Roumillat write in reference to Outlook. “At this point in your life, Outlook may be familiar, which we can often confuse with productive or well designed.”
Here is the memo.
Earlier this year we asked you to move to Yahoo Mail for your corporate email account. 25% of you made the switch (thank you). But even if we used the most generous of grading curves (say, the one from organic chemistry), we have clearly failed in our goal to move our co-workers to Yahoo Mail.
It’s time for the remaining 75% to make the switch. Beyond the practical benefits of giving feedback to your colleagues on the Mail team, as a company it’s a matter of principle to use the products we make. (BTW, same for Search.)
For some reading this email, you are saying, “Jeff, shut up, you had me at hello.” *hug* Jump over to yo/dogfood, click “Corp Mail/Cal/ Messenger” and you are ready to join our brave new world at yo/corpmail or https://mail.yahoo-inc.com.
For others, you might now be running in your head to a well worn path of justified resistance, phoning up the ol’ gang, circling the hippocampian wagons of amygdalian resistance. Hold on a sec, pilgrim.
First, it doesn’t feel like we are asking you to abandon some glorious place of communications nirvana. At this point in your life, Outlook may be familiar, which we can often confuse with productive or well designed. Certainly, we can admire the application for its survival, an anachronism of the now defunct 90s PC era, a pre-web program written at a time when NT Server terrorized the data center landscape with the confidence of a T-Rex born to yuppie dinosaur parents who fully bought into the illusion of their son’s utter uniqueness because the big-mouthed, tiny-armed monster infant could mimic the gestures of The Itsy-Bitsy Pterodactyl. There was a similar outcry when we moved away from Outlook’s suite-mates in the Microsoft Office dreadnaught. But whether it’s familiarity, laziness or simple stubbornness dressed in a cloak of Ayn Randian Objectivism, the time has come to move on, commrade [sic…go deep in this pun, it is layered].
Using corp mail from the Y Mail web interface is remarkably feature rich. It supports booking conference rooms, folders, calendar, filters and global address book. Plus, you get built-in Messenger, smart conversation threading, powerful keyboard shortcuts, the new quick actions, attachment preview and our beautiful new rich themes. In the rare case you do need Outlook, like adding a delegate for your calendar, you can still fire up Outlook for 30 seconds.
But wait there’s more. By using corporate Mail, you’ll automatically get to dogfood our new features first. I’m especially excited about a new feature premiering in just a few more days: smart auto-suggest, powered by a platform from the still-have-that-new-acquisition-smell Xobni team. We have been testing this feature with select users in and out of the company and the response has been fantastic: “Whoa!”, “Amazing”, “Already in love with it. Woot!” and, my favorite, “So nicely integrated that it appears as if it’s always been there. I already can’t imagine it not being there again.”
Feeling that little tingle? Take a deep breath, you can do this. We want you on board, sailor!
Please note, on the mobile side, corp mail is not yet supported in our Mail app for Android or iOS, but that will change (PB&J!). And, like all dogfood offerings, there is a feedback link in the product. Use it generously so we can make the improvements to make Yahoo Mail the unquestioned inbox champion of the world. I pitty [sic] the fool who resists.
Thanks for your support. It really does matter and we appreciate it.
Jeff Bonforte, SVP Communications Products
Randy Roumillat, CIO