Talking tech since 2003

Happy 16th birthday, Yahoo Mail. You know, it feels like just yesterday that Yahoo Mail made its way online. A couple of years later, Google came along with Gmail and its fancy 1 gigabyte of storage, and Yahoo Mail fell behind. It’s now 2013, and the 15 gigabytes that Google offers today for Gmail (as well as Drive and Google+) has just been blown out of the water by Yahoo’s latest announcement: all Yahoo Mail users will get 1 terabyte of storage for their messages and attachments, an amount that can’t be described as anything but ridiculous.

For those keeping score at home, that is 1,009 more gigabytes than Google is offering. If we estimate that the average email size is around 10 kilobytes, that means you could store approximately 107,374,182 email messages. Of course, not every email message is text only, but I think that number makes my point — 1 terabyte of storage is a lot of space. It’s more than a lot of laptops come with, and Yahoo is offering it to users for just email.

yahoo-conversation-viewYahoo made some other changes to Yahoo Mail, as well. Messages now display in that threaded conversation view we’ve grown so accustomed to seeing inside Gmail. There are also some new themes to help make your inbox more pretty. And some features that were previously limited to Mail Plus users are now available to all users. These include better filters, automatic forwarding and disposable email addresses that can be deleted if online marketers or mailing list become too bothersome. The new look and features are coming to both the Web and mobile versions of Yahoo Mail.

But the big story here is that 1 terabyte of space and the possibility that Yahoo may set off the next round of Email Storage Wars. Keep in mind, Yahoo is already offering a terabyte of space for Flickr users for a grand total of 2 terabytes between that service and Yahoo Mail. It’s hard to imagine that Google will allow itself to be trumped, but increasing its free storage for users will effectively kill the little storage upgrade business it’s built for itself. Google currently charges $49.99 per month for 1 terabyte of storage and $99.99 per month for two terabytes.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Google moves quickly to answer Yahoo’s latest challenge. The question is, will Google simply match Yahoo or try to surpass it?

We’ll keep a close eye on this story and let you know if anything happens.


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