3 Ways Webmail is Leading Inbox Innovation

January 14th, 2011 | By Adam Holden-Bache | No Comments

If you’re using a standard email client that resides on your PC (think Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, etc.) you may be missing out on some of the more innovative features happening in email software. As of late, it seems the webmail services (Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail in particular) have been leading the way by providing unique features to assist in email message organization, social media integration and interactive messaging.

Here’s 3 of the most recent innovative features for the email inbox:

1. Hotmail Active Views
For years we’ve thought of email as being static, non-interactive and requiring you to link to the web for any dynamic content. Hotmail aims to change that thinking with Active Views.  Active Views allow users to interact with brands (like booking an airline ticket) without leaving your inbox. Watch the video for a full example of how it works.

2. Yahoo! Mail Beta

Yahoo Mail Beta

Yahoo Mail has a new upgrade currently in beta that any Yahoo user can try now.  The new system is faster, offers better spam protection, unlimited storage and better integration with mobile devices. You can also integrate it with your social channels and you can chat via IM or SMS with your contacts.

The social integration features of Yahoo! Mail aren’t revolutionary but are useful. From within the platform interface you can post status updates to Twitter, Facebook or to your Yahoo contacts and see the status updated of what your contacts have posted. You can also import email addresses of your Facebook friends into Yahoo Contacts.

3. Gmail Priority Inbox

Gmail hasn’t had any major updates since Priority Inbox was released last September, but its impact is still one of the more monumental  inbox developments. If you are using Priority Inbox, you may find these 5 tips for using Priority Inbox helpful.  I’d expect that prioritizing your inbox based on your interactivity and history is going to be standard practice for all inboxes in the near future, so hopefully Gmail got things started in the right direction with the Priority Inbox.

What do you think of the recent webmail developments? Do you expect these to impact the ways that you use email?

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