Yahoo is making its news more social.
By showing what are essentially recommendations, Yahoo is hoping that people will click on more articles. Friends are more likely to have common interests and would therefore have similar reading tastes, the theory goes.
âYouâll be able to discover content through the lens of your friends,â said Blake Irving, who leads Yahooâs products.
The new service was timed to Facebookâs F8 conference in San Francisco on Thursday, where Facebook unveiled its latest enhancements.
Yahooâs new service comes as the company struggles to revive its business, despite having more than 600 million users globally. Advertising revenue is stagnant and new products have been few and far between over the past year.
Earlier this month, Yahooâs board technology/carol-bartz-yahoos-chief-executive-is-fired.html">fired Carol A. Bartz, the companyâs chief executive, after a lackluster two and a half year tenure. A number of suitors interested in buying some or part of Yahoo are circling.
Yahoo news is one of the companyâs crown jewels with more than 80 million unique monthly users, making it the top news site in terms of traffic. Increasingly, however, people are getting their news by sharing links to individual articles through Facebook or Twitter rather than going directly to news sites.
Previously, to share articles with friends, Yahoo users had to cut and paste links in e-mail.
To sign up for the new service, users must have a Facebook account. Nearly 85 percent of Yahoo users have one, according to Yahoo.
At the top of Yahoo news pages, users will see images of their Facebook friends who are also signed up. Clicking on the images brings up a list of Yahoo news articles that those people have read. Individual articles will be stamped with names of friends who have read them, as in âSteve Smith and two others have read this.â Automatic updates on Facebook will also tip off friends to what people are reading.
Yahoo executives responded to questions about privacy by emphasizing that users can control what to share, if anything. The service is opt-in, meaning users choose to join, and they can delete articles that would otherwise be shared in their reading list.