The SocialTwist Social Media Sharing Trends 2010 report shows that Gmail has overtaken Yahoo as consumers’ preferred email service for sharing, but new updates to Yahoo Mail may help bring email users back to Yahoo. The company has released Yahoo Mail Beta globally to improve speed and search capabilities, and the beta also offers a more social mail experience, which could help marketers get their email content shared among Yahoo users.

Yahoo explained that search is enhanced with a new left-hand toolbar that allows users to sort and narrow search results according to sender, attachment files, date and folder location. Additionally, the search box is now at the top of the mail homepage, which may promote search behaviors among Yahoo email users. With this in mind, marketers should make sure their email marketing messages are well-optimized with key phrases that may catch relevant clicks from recipients.

Additionally, the socially updated Yahoo Mail Beta lets users easily see who else is online, add contacts and attach photos or documents in messages. Now, contacts who are online show up to the left of the inbox, and clicking a users’ name gives messaging options.

More intuitive social features may inspire Yahoo Mail users to spread content they find on the web or in their inboxes, which could help marketers find brand advocates in the email realm. As Brafton recently reported, email is the top channel for sharing content online, with 55 percent of sharing happening inbox-to-inbox.