SUNNYVALE, Calif.--Yahoo made some key changes to one of its most important products today, rolling out a new look for Yahoo Mail.
Blake Irving, the company's new executive vice president and chief products officer, unveiled the new design at Yahoo's headquarters here during an event optimistically called "Product Runway." Yahoo said that its 281 million Yahoo Mail users will start seeing the new design this fall as it rolls out an opt-in beta version of the service, which is one of the key drivers of traffic to Yahoo's array of news and entertainment Web sites.
"Mail has been re-architected from the ground up," Irving said, saying the changes both under the hood and to the look and feel of Yahoo Mail should result in a much faster experience that works across multiple devices. The company will also integrate instant-messaging and SMS into the main Yahoo Mail in-box, and let Facebook and Twitter users see updates on the landing page for Yahoo Mail.
Yahoo also introduced plans to blend news and entertainment content more prominently within search results, but the event was mostly a strategy-oriented presentation from Irving, who has been at Yahoo for about 100 days.