Yahoo! Mail Beta Gets RSS

november 29, 2005

I have been biting my tongue for a week or two about this one. This is one of the new neat features of the new Yahoo! Mail Beta: RSS Reader built-in. Now that the news has been released, I can talk about it. This is a very cool feature and is a jump ahead of our competitors. Most of our competitors do have RSS news readers (or aggregators), but they are separate products. There is a drawback to having it as a separate product, mainly that anyone who is not a geek, nerd, or technophile will basically ask: Uh, what's RSS? See, RSS maybe cool for us geeks, but for the normal humans (like wives, moms, dads, grandmas, sisters and brother in-laws) "RSS" is just three letters smashed together. Try explaining RSS to them and their eyes start to glaze over. But, I think by integrating an RSS reader into a mail reader people will start to draw a connection between the two. The whole idea of RSS feeds as folders within a mail reader is pretty cool and I think it may just entice some normal people to explore the benefits of RSS. The RSS folder feature will only be released to half of the people using the new Yahoo! Mail Beta, and I am not sure how many people have been let into the Yahoo! Mail Beta program -- my wife, sister, mom, brother in-law and friends have yet to be invited.