I've been messing with the new Yahoo! test front page since last night.
No, I didn't have 'an invite' in this case. Someone leaked the preview URL on two social networks.
I waited until now, close to the 'premier', but since it's obvious the embargo is long gone, if you're not yet seeing it at this point and want to take a peek, you can access it here.
On the surface, it looks like Yahoo! is trying to do what a lot of other companies have already realized. Make it simple.
According to Yahoo!, I've been a 'user' since 2001. I seriously doubt I would have found (or looked for?) that info had it not been for the new interface.
In addition, the new interface moves wholesale right into social networking territory:
Another "What am I doing?". Some please write a script to tell everyone I'm OK and having a great day ?! :)
Sure, another social network provides yet another vehicle to tel 'someone' about your next big thing, it'll be curious to see how many people actually embrace this front page tag line.
The good part I suppose is that I had one there and didn't even remember. (Clear this!).
Access to other pages was also much simpler and revealed old e-mail addresses that I discontinued years ago.
I also liked the front page mouseovers. While I'm obviously aware that it is a vehicle for Yahoo! to get right down to your preferences and deliver more pages (and ads), it's a very quick take on a variety of subjects directly from the front page.
Yahoo!'s geo-targeting (this is not unique to them) could use a little work. Once you log in (assume they have your home town), it's not bad, especially on the news page, but the non-logged in (IP-sensing) page put me about 700 miles from here.
Watch those permissions. Yes, Yahoo! is asking for your permission to share information with other web services. It's still a little vague but enables cross-networking.
It also seems like they've replicated MyBlogLog separately within the social platform with approx 20 services you can import to your new Yahoo! stream. (Is MyBlogLog toast?).
That's three Googly services right there .. and who could leave out Twitter??
Sidenote: Google's Picasa (which is free) has been adding social features in recent months as well. The assumption would be to capture part of Flickr's market and / or to start bringing together some of Google's more recent Google social initiatives (IE: Friend Connect).
Are we confused yet?
Overall, I think it's safe to say that the Yahoo! new FP is an improvement. The social features bring it inline with Live and Google with access to many other services and more.
The question is ... Will you use it? Will people switch?
Most people don't embrace change easily.
While this change really isn't that radical (on the surface), it'll be interesting to see the reaction of hard-core Yahoo! users over the next few weeks.
code edit 2 PM July 21, 2009
staff edit 2:36 PM July 21, 2009