By Jeremy Reimer | Published: November 10, 2006 – 07:05AM CT
Brad Garlinghouse, vice president of communications at Yahoo, said that the reason for the move was to improve the overall user experience, something he claims is lacking from many “Web 2.0” applications. “I would argue that many Web 2.0 applications are already dead,” he said. “Web 2.0 as an application is leaving tremendous value on the table for consumers and for us as businesses.”
So is the new Yahoo Mail an example of Web 2.5? The company is not the first to have the idea of integrating e-mail and instant messaging. For almost as long as there has been MSN Messenger, Microsoft has enabled access to its contact list within Outlook Express. Google also recently added chat features to its Gmail application. However, the new Yahoo Mail is even more integrated with instant messaging. It does not require any separate instant message program, allowing direct chatting within its web-based interface.
Yahoo and Microsoft recently announced that they would be making their IM services interoperable, so MSN users will have a new method of keeping track of their friends while online. Will the IM integration and MSN compatibility help push Yahoo’s services over the top? The battle for instant messaging supremacy has not been a close one, at least in the United State, where AOL Instant Messenger continues to hold a strong lead. However, the web is increasingly international, and the race outside the US is much closer. What prizes await the victor? Untold riches in the form of ad revenues.