Don't look now -- or maybe you should look now -- Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO ) is delivering on a promise.
Six weeks ago, Yahoo! made an offer to its users: If you don't like the email address you've been stuck with for years -- "albert93099," for example -- because somebody else picked the perhaps more palatable "Albert.Jones" before you did, it might be possible to get an email address you'll like better. Yahoo! gave people a link to click to enter their top five ideal email addresses, and if, for some reason, someone who grabbed your favorite had stopped using it, Yahoo! said it might give you the email address of your dreams.
Call it "virtual redistribution" -- from the "haves" who don't want it, to the "don't haves" who do.
Last month, Yahoo! described the plan on a Tumblr page, telling users how to go about setting up a wishlist, promising to distribute new email addresses in mid-August, and advising people offered a primo address to claim that address pronto -- within 48 hours of notification. This week, the company has begun handing out the redistributed addresses, and even better, giving recipients until midnight Sept. 7 to claim them.
If you've already applied for one of these addresses, it's time to start keeping an eye out for an email from Yahoo, headlined "Great news! The username you wanted is yours." Instructions will be contained therein. Or if you haven't applied, Yahoo! is still accepting applications (now charging a $1.99 fee).