People logging into Yahoo’s email accounts (like rocketmail) may have noticed a rather nasty-looking advert directly in their inbox. Oh dear, Yahoo, oh dear.
One of my throw-away email accounts is with Yahoo’s Rocketmail. They keep ‘tinkering’ with the layout and it’s getting more and more unusable by the week: hiding this, stopping you from doing that, etc.
The latest addition to help them try and make money is to inject sponsored advertisements directly into your inbox, as if it’s a real message.
This Yahoo-sponsored spam message is undeletable and takes up a slot in your inbox, which on mobile’s limited screen size is going to be a pain. What’s ironic is that they congratulate me on keeping my inbox spam-free and then add their own spam directly to the inbox and make it permanent. As if I’m going to click on a hair care or beauty product anyway.
Unlike Gmail’s ads, which are tucked away neatly above the main message bar and are relevant to the inbox content, Yahoo’s terrible, random monetization attempt is badly executed, completely obtrusive, and makes it look like your inbox has been hit with malware.
There’s a feature request to remove (or at least tone down) the intrusion but, predictably, Yahoo have said it’s necessary in order to keep the service free. Oh, and if you don’t like it, pay for their premium ad-free email service.
Well I have one word for you Yahoo:
There’s already a massive animated sidebar ad which makes the screen real-estate even tighter. The whole experience is starting to feel like being in an AOL browser again, with a postage-stamp size content area in the middle of a sea of distracting advertisements and junk UI.
Google have proved that ads (and email) can be done sensibly, intelligently and without impacting the user experience… too much. Yahoo, however, don’t seem to understand their customers, which is hardly a surprise to anyone who has accidentally ended up on their “news” front page full of sensationalised celebrity headlines.
Regardless that the ads are easily removed with some ad-blocking software or a simple Firefox extension, a negative user experience combined with bullying people into paying to remove ads is a great way to drive away consumers.
How do I know? Because rather than pay, I suspect a lot of people will do what I’ve just done: export my emails, delete my Yahoo account and up-sticks to someone else like, oooh, GMX Mail which is just divine in comparison.
Up yours, Yahoo. Go the way of AOL.