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Yahoo Mail Beta Update Launched

Yahoo has released the first beta update to its Yahoo Mail service, which brings a slick new UI and tighter social networking integration.

The update, which is the first major revamp of Yahoo Mail in the last five years, focuses more on social networking, allowing users to post updates to Facebook and Twitter without even leaving the Yahoo Mail page.

The company has made bold claims with the update, saying that the service will be faster than Gmail and Microsoft's Hotmail.

Other services that have been updated in Yahoo Mail are a better spam filtering tool and an enhanced search function, that lets people search for e-mails and prioritise them.

Yahoo said that the update was crucial in order to retain its user base, which has been impacted chiefly by Google's Gmail. The company added that its uses spent around 30 billion minutes a month on Yahoo Mail.

Dave McDowell, Yahoo Mail senior product director, said in a statement to BBC News: “It is a critically important product to our users and this represents [the] most significant upgrade to Yahoo mail in five years.”