Yahoo’s been on a campaign to revitalize its email service. In a bid to attract more users, the company began recycling dormant email addresses, and CEO Marissa Mayer has even tried her hand at grassroots marketing one tweet at a time. To ring in Yahoo Mail’s sweet 16, the company has taken the wraps off a redesign that looks and feels vaguely Gmail-esque.
The new Yahoo Mail includes a slew of features previously available only to premium Mail Plus customers: disposable email addresses, up to 200 filters, automatic email forwarding, and offline access. (Relatedly, Mail Plus has been phased out in favor of Ad Free Mail, which costs $50 a year. Grandfathered users can renew for the same annual $20 fee.)
What makes Yahoo Mail so familiar is the introduction of threaded email conversations, one of the features that first distinguished Gmail from other email services, and photo-rich themes, some sourced from Flickr. When a user chooses a theme, it applies to Yahoo Mail across all devices. Though themes have been in Gmail since 2008, the service incorporated high-definition backgrounds, plus the ability to customize them with users’ own photos, in 2012.
Many aspects of the user interface–the backdrop, layout, font, positioning of buttons, left-hand toolbar–scream Gmail. And this is most apparent with the following GIF, courtesy of Gizmodo: