Yahoo! giving away inactive email accounts
In a Tumblr post on June 12th 2013, Yahoo! announced that on July 15, it would be “freeing up” Yahoo email addresses that have been inactive for over a year or more. In case you have a Yahoo! account that has not been used or accessed for over a year, it has probably been deactivating and offered to other people, if someone has claimed for it. For instance, if you have always dreamed of having email@example.com instead firstname.lastname@example.org, now it’s time to claim it.
“We want to give our loyal users and new folks the opportunity to sign up for the Yahoo! ID they’ve always wanted” says Jay Rossiter, Yahoo’s senior Vice President of platforms. “We’re freeing up IDs, that have been inactive for at least 12 months, by resetting them and giving them a fresh start. In mid July, anyone can have a shot at scoring the Yahoo! ID they want. In mid August, users who staked a claim on certain IDs can come to Yahoo! to discover which one they got”.
Indeed on July 15th Yahoo! started accepting requests for mail accounts, which lasted until the previous week, August 7th . Every user could submit up to five different names athttp://wishlist.yahoo.com.
In our effort to find a reasoning behind such a decision, we believe this might be a good way to get people to log in again to their old Yahoo! accounts – which have probably gathered dust and many spammy emails during the years. But our concerns arise as Email Marketers, as there are many issues to be clarified, before these addresses are being given away.
First of all, what happens with emails that are being sent to those addresses by the state, banks or other institutions, that include personal information or even passwords? Those emails do not bounce back of course.
Then, what happens with email addresses that are used to forward emails to other accounts, therefore the user has not logged in for a long time, and will lose his/her account
Apart from these concerns, there will surely be accounts that are directly related and linked to other social media accounts, without requesting a password.
For Wired.com this was a terrible idea because such an effort means that people will be able to claim Yahoo IDs and use them to take over other people’s identities via password resets and other methods.
USA today says that the company’s CEO Marissa Mayer does an effort to create a bigger buzz around an Internet pioneer that had fallen out of fashion.
On their effort to make a safe and secure transition, Yahoo! released a statement later on declaring that there will be a 30-day period between deactivation and before the IDs will be recycled for new users. During this time, they will send bounce back emails to any senders, notifying and alerting that the deactivated account no longer exists. Yahoo! will also unsubscribe these accounts from commercial emails such as newsletters and email alerts, among others. Upon deactivation, they will send notification for these potentially recycled accounts to merchants, e-commerce sites, financial institutions, social networks, email providers and other online properties.
Conclusion: Yahoo! starts bouncing emails. If you take a close look at the bounce rates from Yahoo! users these days, by segmenting your subscriber list, you’ll probably see the difference. But no worries: Moosend is automatically managing bounced email addresses from your list, so you do not have to worry about your list hygiene.