Yandex, sometimes called the Google of Russia, has updated a smart sorting tool within its email system that helps people take actions on a variety of emails like meeting invites and e-tickets.
Just 10% of Emails are Personal Correspondence
Because so much of email today consists of automatic reminders and machine generated messages, Yandex tries to help people sort them by allowing for instant actions to be taken. For example, when an e-ticket is sent to an inbox, Yandex can generate a reminder about the time of the flight or event, and even offer to register online or give weather info on a destination.
Yandex can now do this kind of sorting with an additional dozen or so types of messages, and the company plans to keep adding message formats that can be recognized and sorted. It recognizes messages with a tool Yandex calls Marker, and it's powered by the company's MatrixNet machine learning method.
Furthermore, the email system also tries to help out with creating messages, and a tool called Live Letters will roll out soon to do just that. It will be a tool for writing and editing emails together in real time.
Islands Launch Precedes Email Update
Yandex previewed this email update by adding a similar take action functionality to its search results. The company had added this ability with a tool called islands, and it lets people make movie or flight reservations right in the search results page.
At the time of the islands launch, Ilya Segalovich, Yandex CTO said it was done in response to the fact mobile apps had changed people's expectations about usability. Now, both Yandex email and search are more actionable, a rote, but necessary move as Yandex's competitors have already done it.
Clearly, the company is playing catch up to the Microsofts and Yahoos of the world, but it's also nearly tripled its revenue over the last three years. Yandex also rolled out its own Android App store earlier this year, so while it may be behind the leading search engines, given the roller coaster ride at Yahoo recently, it might not stay that way for long.