Yahoo Adds RSS Feeds into Web Mail

Taking a different approach than Google, which launched a separate Web RSS reader last month, Yahoo on Wednesday rolled out an update to its Yahoo! Mail Beta that integrates RSS feeds directly below e-mail folders. Feeds can be synched from My Yahoo! or added manually.

Full posts from RSS feeds show up like an e-mail message, and can be forwarded, printed or saved for later viewing. An "All Feeds" feature creates an aggregate list of updates from the feeds, order chronologically.

"We're expanding upon Yahoo's significant leadership in RSS by integrating it right into the world's most popular Web mail service," said Ethan Diamond, director of product development for Yahoo! Mail. "By adding feeds to Yahoo! Mail, we will introduce RSS technology to a more expansive consumer base than ever before."

The addition was demoed Tuesday evening at a special dinner event for bloggers, press and other influentials in San Francisco.

"Yahoo clearly took the lead for best email application this evening. The ability to 'pop in' other email accounts, the ajax functionality and, now, the integrated RSS reader are absolutely stunning features," said venture capitalist Michael Arrington, who attended the dinner.

Beyond integrating RSS into Mail, Yahoo launched a beta of Yahoo! Alerts, which notifies users when RSS feeds are updated. Alerts can be sent via SMS, e-mail or Yahoo! Messenger. Anything that has an RSS feed, from shopping wish lists to classified ads and fantasy football leagues, can be setup to pop-up an alert.

"There are a few other features which still need to be added, but Yahoo Mail is just an incredibly awesome product," concluded Arrington.

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