Yahoo goes social, teams with Facebook for site revamp

Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:44pm EST
 
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By Nicola Leske

(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc is overhauling its website to incorporate features familiar to Facebook users such as a newsfeed and people's "likes," in CEO Marissa Mayer's biggest product revamp since taking the helm of the ailing company last year.

Mayer, who took over in July after a procession of CEOs was shown the door, said in a blog post on Wednesday that Yahoo's redesigned website will let users log in with their Facebook IDs to gain access to content and information shared by friends - from articles and videos to birthdays.

Yahoo is one of the world's most-visited online properties, but revenue has declined in recent years amid competition from Google Inc and Facebook Inc.

The changes to Yahoo's Internet shop window, which include a more streamlined mobile application for smartphones and tablets, will be rolled out over coming days. The makeover follows a new version of Yahoo mail, one of its most popular applications, introduced in December.

Analysts say the move marks a strengthening of Yahoo's ties with Facebook, employing some of the social network's growing data on its billion-plus users to battle Google for Web users' attention. It remains to be seen whether the initial makeover and tweaks expected over time will win back its Internet audience.

"This is definitely an important step. The Yahoo home page is one of the most important things because it is the first interface," said B. Riley Caris analyst Sameet Sinha. "It's familiar in terms of layout, the newsfeed is interesting, and it will be interesting to see how it develops over time.

"The key will be how data is aggregated within Yahoo and Facebook."

TUMULT, TRANSITION   Continued...

 
A Yahoo logo is pictured in front of a building in Rolle, 30 km (19 miles) east of Geneva, December12, 2012. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse