The Fate of Yahoo Mail: Will Verizon Shut It Down?

What Will Happen to Yahoo Mail?In the wake of a rocky transition of email accounts over to AOL, which included many accounts simply being shut down, there are now questions about how Verizon will handle Yahoo Mail. Will Yahoo Mail users also be migrated over to AOL accounts? Will these users lose their email addresses?

I recently spoke with Jess Nelson of MediaPost, who wanted to know: What Will Happen to Yahoo Mail? This is what I told her:

“The Verizon email service didn’t have a lot of features or good spam filtering. It also didn’t have many users, compared to AOL Mail and Yahoo Mail, which are now both part of Verizon. So it made a lot of sense to migrate email accounts to AOL, which delivers a much better user experience. That said, the transition could have been much smoother and less threatening for users.

Yahoo Mail should be a completely different story. While neglected and tainted by being hacked in recent years, Yahoo Mail has decent capabilities, a ton of brand recognition, and a much larger user base of accounts. I would be shocked if Verizon did a forced migration of Yahoo Mail accounts.

Instead, I expect Verizon to consolidate backend systems, merging the systems of AOL Mail and Yahoo Mail into one email system and user interface. They will then use that single backend system to service both AOL and Yahoo email accounts. On the surface, those will have different branding, but under the hood, they’ll be one system.

Although Verizon says there won’t be email addresses, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did just that once that consolidation of email infrastructure is complete—perhaps as part of an effort to service corporate email needs to match Gmail’s success with business users. But even then, I expect Yahoo Mail to live on for a long time.”

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