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Yahoo! unfurls revamped Yahoo! mail beta

More! than! two! times! faster! says! Yahoo!

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Yahoo! has released a beta of its latest Yahoo! Mail update, claiming that the web-based email service is at least two times faster than previous versions.

Rebuilt "from the ground up," the Yahoo! Mail beta offers a new interface, integration with Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo! Updates, a revamped search tool, and an automatic slideshow contraption for viewing photos and videos from sites such as Flickr, Picasa, and YouTube.

"Online communication tools are an important part of people’s lives — whether they’re connecting with their friends and family, sharing pictures and videos, or keeping up on news across social networks,” reads a canned statement from Blake Irving, Yahoo!'s chief product officer. “We’ve built a powerful global framework for email that lets us quickly innovate and enhance this trusted service that people rely on every day."

Yahoo! Mail's existing users — which number 273 million, according to the company — won't be moved to the new version unless they opt-in. To get the beta, you can go to features.mail.yahoo.com and click "Try it now." ®

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