Yahoo Mail Steals a Page from Gmail for Improved Ad Targeting

The targeted advertising gurus at Google have apparently inspired one of their rivals to pick up the slack on targeted advertising.

According to the powers-that-be at Yahoo, a new update to Yahoo Mail will take the service a long way in becoming a more effective and efficient tool for targeted ads.

David McDowell, senior director of product management at Yahoo Mail, says that in the coming months, it will be able to successfully “scan” emails in a user’s inbox to help determine the nature of ads that should appear or pop up in the general vicinity.

The technology to make this happen, however, is far from new. Yahoo will simply modify, extend, and re-purpose many of the tools currently in place to combat spam and other potentially malicious threats that populate the modern Internet.

Interestingly, Yahoo Mail will also be able to scan instant messages and SMS text messages for the same ad targeting purposes. The scanning practices outlined will not extend to Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms at this time.

It should also be noted, of course, that users need not fear a digital invasion of privacy. Consumers who opt to upgrade Yahoo Mail will have to consent to the targeted advertising before the upgrade can commence.