Yahoo reports that its mail service is turning social, particularly with an end-goal of unifying Yahoo and third-party social media services into one place.
A “smarter inbox” puts messages from friends or family in a separate, tabbed file so they don’t get buried under mountains of spam or work email.
The inbox for the the first time lets people install third-party applications such as movie-recommendation service Flixster and blogging tools from WordPress.
Technology from startup Xoopit (pronounced swoop-it) will fetch all pictures buried in stored emails, even retrieving images from website links found in messages.
Earlier this year, Yahoo opened up its email service to let third-party developers create add-on applications to the service, much like how one could launch applications on social networking site FaceBook. This move is meant to add value to email, which is considered among the top applications that people use the Internet for.
Ideally, this should make things easier to manage. But the concern here is that having yet another social media profile to maintain might make it more cumbersome for users. The idea of consolidating all of a user’s online presences (blogs, social networks, photos, lifestreams, etc.) under one site–or portal, which Yahoo! is–is an attractive proposition, though. But this might be difficult to achieve, given the different standards among different social networks.