Yahoo Mail changes fuel online fury, protests tag new avatar 'alpha version of Gmail'

Oct 22 2013, 15:19 IST
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Yahoo Mail protests have become online equivalent of a riot. Yahoo Mail protests have become online equivalent of a riot.
SummaryAn upgrade to Yahoo Mail has generated much fury in the online world.

a button and hide it behind the “X” button—how are you supposed to know this—osmosis??” one user posted.

That was a common complaint. Users said the revamp left them guessing which feature did what. Common e-mail functions like forward, reply, close and attach documents are no longer labeled clearly, users say, and they are left to guess where the options are by hovering their cursor over each button.

But special ire has been reserved for the fact that the new upgrade contains a number of bugs. A forum for bug reports now includes nearly 9,000 complaints. Among them: Entire contact lists and in-boxes are disappearing and reappearing, punctuation marks are not translating into outbound mail, some people complain that they experience malfunctions when moving e-mail into folders, keyboard commands no longer work with the new e-mail interface, users find attaching documents to their e-mails takes much longer, and they encounter error messages when trying to do simple e-mail functions such as copying and pasting contact e-mails, forwarding or replying to messages or embedding links.

In a Web cast timed to Yahoo’s third-quarter earnings report last week, Mayer highlighted a number of new updates to its sports and entertainment products, but did not mention the new Yahoo mail product update, saying only, “We continued to focus on creating the absolute best mail product, on desktop and across mobile.”

“As with any significant product change, it is typical to see varied reaction particularly in the beginning and with products that have a large user base,” Yahoo’s senior director of product for Yahoo Mail, Dave McDowell, said in a statement. “The level of response we are seeing is in line with previous releases and we’ve heard from many users that they are enjoying the new experience.”

But elsewhere on the Web, the Yahoo Mail upgrade had already become something of an Internet meme. Ike Barinholtz, the comedian, posted on Twitter:, ”Yes, the approval ratings for Republicans are historically bad but they still aren’t ‘new Yahoo! mail’ bad.”

Nicole Perlroth

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