Yahoo recently announced the end-of-life date for its Messenger service, but the company is still alive and kicking when it comes to its other services. The company has just announced a series of efforts to modernize its Mail offering, and it mostly focuses on emerging and casual mobile users with lower-end smartphones.
For starters, the company is announcing an app designed for Android Go that takes up just 10MB of storage to install and is optimized for low-end devices which don't have as much RAM. The Go variation offers a lot of the usability features of the main app, including swipe gestures to mark messages as read or delete them, color themes that allow users to personalize their inbox, infinite scrolling through your inbox without having to tap to move to the next page, and more.
A new mobile-optimized version of the Yahoo Mail website also brings the same features to those who would rather not install an app for any reason. The web app is built on React and Redux and it should offer a much speedier and responsive experience than previously available. It doesn't seem to be live for everyone yet, but you should be able to access it here.
The efforts clearly portray the company's attempt to appeal to new categories of users, which may have felt that the company's offerings couldn't meet their needs before. Joshua Jacobson, Senior Director of Product Management at Yahoo Mail said:
We’ve heard loud and clear from users that they’re not always ready to make the big leap to downloading an app that takes up any storage space on their phone. (...) People with high-capacity phones may want to save that space for photos or videos, while others with entry-level smartphones may just have limited space from the get-go. Further, some folks share devices or borrow a family member’s to access their email. This is all especially true in developing markets.
Yahoo's bet on emerging markets isn't entirely surprising as many companies - including Uber and Facebook - have been doubling down on these countries where mobile internet access is limited and most users own lower-end devices. Yahoo's push in these markets could help the somewhat stagnant service survive a while longer, but that remains to be seen.