Gmail “Report Spam” Missing Bulk Functionality

Here’s another case of missing product functionality that may be due to a bug or by design. When going through some of my emails in Gmail, I noticed something interesting with how the Report spam feature works when multiple emails are selected. Let’s take a look. 

Here’s a search for all emails that have the label designated as southwest-junk:


And here’s the view after all of the emails on the first page of search results are selected: 


At this point, on mouse-hover over the Report spam button, the button appears as enabled and there is a tooltip text that highlights the functionality. The interesting thing, is that this functionality is not available when all 213 emails in the search set are selected. 


In the view above, the Report spam button is disabled and the user is not able to report all messages in the search set as spam. While this doesn’t strike me as missing functionality that would be super important to a user, it is a bit arbitrary to allow the user to mark 50 messages as spam, but not 213. Perhaps it was a performance optimization decision – or perhaps a product call. 



Amazon Student = Amazon Prime + Spam

One of’s greatest ideas has been the creation of Amazon Prime. One product that strengthens the Amazon Prime user base is Amazon Student. With Amazon Student, you get one free year of Amazon Prime when you provide your .edu email address. In addition, you get the subsequent year at a discounted rate as well. Great idea.

There is one down side. The catch is that you have to deal with marketing (spam) email from For the most part, is very user friendly and I always see an opt-out or unsubscribe feature at the end of their emails to users. However, with Amazon Student, there is no opt-out or unsubscribe as can be seen in this email:


It’s crystal clear:

If you would like to stop receiving e-mail offers from Amazon Student, you may cancel your Amazon Student membership here: …

In other words, the only way to stop receiving these marketing offers, is to cancel your Amazon Student membership. To give you an idea of how often this spam occurs, I’ve received 9 such emails since Jan. 1. So I’d say an average about two per month. Not too bad, but ideally, I shouldn’t have to setup a Gmail filter to stop getting such spam.

Yahoo Finance iPhone Stocks App Has Irrelevant News Suggestions

I’ve noticed a lot of low quality results when looking at the news article feed for stocks in the Yahoo Finance iPhone Stocks App. It seems that for a given stock, for example eBay, the app is suggesting any article that even has a mention of eBay.

Recently, I’ve been noticing a lot of articles that are relevant for Yahoo Inc., but not eBay. The reason is fairly obvious: the current CEO of Yahoo Inc., used to be an employee of eBay Inc. As such, many online articles about Yahoo point out the fact that Scott Thompson used to work for eBay.

That being said, the App can be a little smarter in deciding which articles to show. For example, it can analyze the click through rate of a given article that shows up both for eBay and Yahoo — and most likely for these types of articles, users viewing the Yahoo ticker symbol are going to be more likely to click through on the article as it’s more relevant to them. Once that occurs, the same articles should move down the search rankings when they are in the eBay stock ticker news view.