Yahoo agressive move
In March 2005, Yahoo Inc. announced that it is quadrupling the size of free storage provided to users with free e-mail accounts. As Yahoo’s vice president of communications announced, the expanded storage will be available in April of 2005. This is a strategic move to compete with Google which already offers this feature, as part of its free email service, Gmail.
MSN which currently offers only 250 MB is also anticipated to follow the moves of the other two internet giants.
Yahoo’s strategic move does not come as a surprise as Google’s free email service is anticipated to expand its geographic coverage in April, 2005. As Google’s Gmail has been around only for a year, this is an aggressive expansion.
In addition to the 1 MG free mail storage Yahoo Inc. will include a free email virus scanning feature. Apparently, the company is improving its antivirus protection in an effort to outperform its rivals. The new virus scanning available to all free e-mail users will clean up viruses detected in email attachments. Sooner than experts anticipate, Google will most likely follow Yahoo’s move.
Google is also adding community features as part of its branding strategy even though the original Sergei Brin and Larry Page’s company does not have a portal and instant messaging tool. Experts speculate that an Instant messenger service by Google may be launched, as well.
Google’s desktop bar and search box in the Windows taskbar allows searching from any application that the user is using, without opening the browser. MSN’s search box and desktop bar are also functional and available for a free download. Yahoo is also upgrading its desktop search software following to its rivals Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp.
In the blogging arena, Yahoo is improving its feature MyYahoo. Once again it is to prevent the versatility of the users as in recent Forrester and Nielsen Rating researches it was indicated that internet users are switching from one searching engine or community to another quite frequently .
Another news is that Yahoo recently bought Flikr, an online photo management and sharing application. With Flikr users can share their photos, blog the photos with a camera phone and more. The basic Flirk accounts are free.
In the first quarter of 2005, the three major players on the market are becoming more and more creative in their efforts to outperform each other. The goal is to build communities, create a social network and even balkanize users. The end user can only benefit from these improvements and new features but the real question is who is going to win the great battle and convert traffic into profitable opportunities for companies.