Yahoo Wants You to Pay for an Ad-Free Version of Its Notoriously Hacked Email Service

By Kate Conger on at

Remember Yahoo Mail? That email service famous for undergoing the largest breach of user data ever—and then outdoing itself a few months later with an even larger breach? Well, the company is now offering a paid version of its mail service in hopes that you’ll shell out cash to use the most-pwned email service ever.

Yahoo introduced Yahoo Mail Pro today, a subscription service that gives Yahoo users an ad-free version of their inbox for $34.99 (£27.30) a year, or $9.99 (£7.80) a year for mobile-only.

The new Pro option comes as part of a larger redesign, TechCrunch reports, which looks a lot like Gmail’s Inbox. It’s supposed to be prettier, faster, and more developer-friendly. But all those features come for free as part of the redesign, which means that all users are paying for is the exclusion of ads.

Verizon just closed its acquisition of Yahoo earlier this month, sandwiching the legacy email and search platform together with AOL. Verizon got a $350 million discount on the deal, due to the massive breaches Yahoo experienced at the hands of Russian and Canadian hackers in which it lost more than 1 billion users’ credentials. Verizon determined that, despite the hacks, the Yahoo brand is still strong—so it’s not renaming the email service “Oath Mail” or something similar.

The announcement comes at an especially inconvenient time, given that Gmail announced last week it will stop scanning users’ email for marketing purposes. It seems like Yahoo will have a tough time convincing users to pay for its service when free competitors are scaling back their advertising.

Given the security disasters at Yahoo, it’s hard to imagine anyone paying for an ad-free version of its Mail app (maybe a secure version would be more commercially viable). Somehow, though, people are already paying—this latest update is an expansion of the ad-free service Yahoo has been offering for a few years. Good luck with that, guys. [TechCrunch]


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