Landrush for new Yahoo Mail addresses begins at 3 pm ET

With hundreds of millions of user names already tapped out, Yahoo has now decided to add two more domains -- ymail.com and rocketmail.com -- to its e-mail addresses for Web users.

Sign-ups for the new e-mail addresses will probably commence later today, BetaNews has learned.

"The new domains, ymail.com and rocketmail.com, should be available at
mid-day today (Thursday) - near 12 pm PT (Pacific Time) / 3pm ET (Eastern Time)," a Yahoo spokesperson said, in an e-mail to BetaNews. The land rush for staking out new user names will take place at http://mail.yahoo.com.

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Yahoo is already widely credited by analysts with running the most popular Web-based e-mail service in the world.

Company officials figure that by adding the two new addresses to the existing "@yahoo.com," the beleaguered Internet company can effectively triple the size of its name space, giving users more choices.

In a study commissioned by Yahoo and conducted by Harris Interactive, Yahoo asked "online adults" which e-mail address they would choose for personal use, if they could have any name they wanted. Seventy percent replied that they would opt to have some portion of their name included in the e-mail address.

More than 266 million users have already signed up for Yahoo Mail, according to a statement from Yahoo.

E-mail addresses at the new domains will reportedly get the same Yahoo Mail features as addresses at yahoo.com, including unlimited e-mail storage, anti-spam and anti-virus e-mail protection; integrated instant messaging and text messaging through Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger, and options for country-specific e-mail accounts.

Yahoo already owned both of the additional domain names, anyhow. The rocketmail.com domain came with its 1997 buyout of Four11 Corporation. The ymail.com address has reportedly been around for some time, too, but for mobile users.

Users who had already signed on to rocketmail prior to Yahoo's Four11 acquisition will be able to hold on to their old e-mail addresses, BetaNews was told.

"Those who have rocketmail accounts are still in our system. So we are not starting over from scratch -- just opening up the domain for the rest of Internet users," another Yahoo spokesperson said, in an e-mail to BetaNews.

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