Yahoo is rolling out a slew of new features that will increase competition with…drum roll please…Facebook. In an effort to boost revenue, the world’s second favorite search engine (Google being the perpetual Number 1) has created Y Connect, an application that connects publishers, web designers, and sites in an effort to understand consumer trends.
Y Connect is easily join-able via a Yahoo-branded icon, which will be placed on a wide range of media web sites in the coming weeks. People who sign up for the service — presumably those with a Yahoo account — can share favorite articles [from the media sites] with their contacts or through Yahoo Pulse, a four-month-old reinvention of Yahoo’s member directory. The idea is this: B integrating social-networking features like the ability to comment on articles and sharing “liked” articles with advertisers, both Yahoo and the companies involved can get a better grip on consumer preferences, resulting in more tailored online ads.
Perhaps this new program is part of Yahoo’s attempt to “bring cool back”; the search engine has shown poor growth and an arguable loss of relevance in the past year, as Facebook continues to reach new levels of web domination. Still, after cutting cost and then rolling out this new feature, Yahoo is making a go of attracting a larger audience. And who knows — some good news for Yahoo just may be on the horizon (though we remain skeptical — why use a service when another, larger, more established service exists to serve the same purpose?).
The Huffington Post, a site well-versed with the social-networking craze (it’s all over Twitter and Facebook), has already joined the Y Connect network (in fact, it’s the only media source that’s currently on board with the new venture). In June, the news outlet announced an alliance with Yahoo “to produce original content,” specifically for Shine, a women’s interest Yahoo-run site.