San Francisco: Yahoo Inc`s latest facelift will include a Facebook touch up.
As part of changes rolling out this week, Yahoo will import personal updates from Facebook`s social network for users who want a bridge between two of the world`s most
popular websites. The Facebook link will need to be turned on by each Yahoo user.
The personal updates, known as a "news feed" in Facebook`s parlance, will be available throughout Yahoo`s website, including its front page and e-mail service. Other
tools will empower people to automatically let their Facebook friends know what they are doing and saying on Yahoo services such as its photo-sharing site, Flickr.
The additional tie-ins follow through on a makeover that Yahoo announced late last year in an effort to make its website more compelling.
Although Yahoo still commands a worldwide Internet audience of nearly 600 million, people have been hanging around for progressively shorter periods during the past few
years. One of the reasons is because people increasingly congregate on Facebook to share photos, video clips and music, discuss current events and bond with their families and
Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, California, is betting that more of its visitors will stay on its website if they can simultaneously monitor what`s happening on Facebook. Keeping
people on its site longer would give Yahoo more opportunities to sell online ads and revive its revenue growth after an extended slump that has sapped its earnings power and stock price.
Connecting with Facebook is just the first step in Yahoo`s attempt to establish its website as a social hub.
Later this summer, Yahoo intends to import personal updates posted on Twitter`s short-messaging service. And by the end of the year, Yahoo will begin featuring widely played Internet games such as "Farmville", "Mafia Wars" and "Fishville", made by Zynga.
The increased emphasis on so-called "social media" could make Yahoo more susceptible to the privacy backlashes that have plagued Facebook in recent years. Yahoo is trying to
ensure people don`t inadvertently share any sensitive information by simplifying its privacy controls and urging visitors to review their settings.
As part of that process, Yahoo`s identify control centre has been renamed "Yahoo Pulse". It had been called Yahoo Profiles since its October 2008 debut.