Yahoo! is one of the most famous free email services and web platforms on the entire internet, and has held that status for a very long time—since 1995, as a matter of fact. So, chances are that you have already heard about Yahoo. You might even use some of the tools and services that the platform offers. But there is so much to know about Yahoo, Yahoo’s famous email, Yahoo Messenger, and more! That’s why we’ve put together this little introduction to Yahoo.com and some of its most popular features.
The Yahoo.com web portal
Looking at it today, it might seem hard to believe, but when Yahoo! was first created, it was a pretty bare bones web directory, designed to help web surfers in those early days of mainstream internet access to find relevant websites. It wasn’t long before Yahoo Search became one of the top search engines, and the directory grew into a complete web portal.
Although it seemed to reach its peak in the early- to mid-2000s, back before Google took over the world, Yahoo is still a top contender even today. More than two decades after its inception, it is still the fourth most-visited website worldwide. And the explanation is simple: it offers almost everything a casual internet user could need.
Yahoo! is configured as the browser home page for millions of people these days because it’s a one-stop shop. Aside from the famous Yahoo Mail and the search engine that started it all, you have instant access to top news stories, finance tips, sports news, weather updates, trending topics, and tons of other personalized options.
In the next sections, we’ll go into a bit more detail about the most commonly used tools from Yahoo.com: their free email platform, news portal, financial portfolio, sports, Yahoo Messenger, and Yahoo Answers.
Free email from Yahoo! Mail
There are plenty of people who use Yahoo almost exclusively for its free email service. The other 101 features are a nice bonus, but for them, the backbone of the site is Yahoo! Mail.
Email is one of the tools that is only available to registered users, for obvious reasons. The good news is that, as soon as you sign up for a free Yahoo account, you will automatically get your very own @yahoo.com email address and access to a comprehensive platform comparable to others you may use, like Gmail or Hotmail.
As you would expect, your Yahoo email can be used to check messages you have received, send emails to any of your contacts, attach files and pictures, organize your inbox, and even configure your Yahoo Calendar to send you email reminders for important events.
There is also a way to easily access Yahoo Messenger, the famous instant messaging tool from this website, right from your inbox. We’ll talk about that a bit more in the Yahoo Messenger section below.
Top news stories from Yahoo! News
If you’re the kind of person who likes to always be informed of what’s going on in the world, you might want to set the Yahoo homepage or the Yahoo News page as your browser’s default start page. At a glance, you’ll have a selection of some of the top stories and breaking headlines, with international and national news. If you are logged in to your Ymail account, or you have location sharing turned on, you might also get local and regional news stories.
One of the best things about Yahoo News these days is that it offers you articles from a wide variety of news outlets and journalists, so you can get many different points of few and avoid the “tunnel vision” that has become such a big problem lately.
Yahoo! Finance and free stock portfolio
Yahoo Finance has earned a reputation for being an excellent source of unbiased, reliable information about anything finance related. You can find updates on what’s going on in the financial markets to help you make decisions about what to do with your investments, or simply to stay informed. Right on the front page, you’ll get a condensed view of the latest activity in major markets like the S&P 500, the Nasdaq, commodities like crude oil prices, etc.
Plus, there are tons of news stories that are relevant to finance and investing, along with helpful articles if you are still learning the ropes.
But perhaps the most useful feature in Yahoo Finance is the ability to create your own trading “Portfolio”. This requires you to create a Yahoo account, obviously, but for anyone who wants to take their money into their own hands, it’s an essential tool. You can create your own “watch lists” for stocks you might be interested in, keep track of how your actual investments are performing, and much more.
Yahoo! Sports news, scores and more
Sports fans know they can quickly get up to speed on their favorite teams with a quick visit to the Yahoo Sports page. Whether you follow football or basketball, college or pro, or other types of sports like MMA and boxing, you can find all the information you need right here.
You can easily get highlights from the big game, the final scores or real-time score updates, relevant news articles, helpful information on drafts and recruitment, player stats, and lots more. And if you want a way to put all this data to good use, you can even participate in Yahoo’s own fantasy league.
Yahoo! Messenger for web, desktop and mobile
Yahoo has been around long enough that it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they pioneered many of the things we take for granted today; one of those things is instant messaging.
Long before smartphones were a thing, people relied on desktop instant messenger apps if they wanted to chat in real time with friends, family, business contacts, etc. Yahoo Messenger was one of the top programs back then, and it is still one of the best options today, thanks to the fact that it has evolved to keep up with what today’s users expect from an instant messenger.
These days, not only can you get a desktop version of Yahoo Messenger to use on your PC, you can also use it from your Yahoo Mail inbox, use a browser-based web app version, and download the mobile app on your smartphone or tablet so that you can stay connected no matter where you go.
Yahoo! Answers for a good laugh
With the incomprehensible amount of information that is just a few keystrokes away on the internet, it’s pretty easy to find the answer to virtually any question you might have these days. Still, sometimes you come up empty. In those situations, why not crowdsource your information search by asking everyone on Yahoo through the famous Yahoo Answers?
Okay, you might not want to ask anything too serious using this platform. While you can certainly find a lot of straight-faced answers with helpful information, Yahoo Answers is more valuable as a comedy goldmine these days.
Well, as you can see, there is a whole lot that Yahoo has to offer, and we’ve only just scratched the surface! You can use a lot of this website’s features without having an account (like reading news, checking weather, using the search engine, etc.). But, to get the most out of it, we highly recommend creating a Yahoo account so you get access to Yahoo Mail, Messenger, personalized Finance Portfolio, more curated news stories, and lots more. Make sure you check out our next post, where we’ll provide a step by step tutorial to help you register a new Yahoo account.