Posted August 26, 2009 11:01 am by with 8 comments

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yahoo-logoLast January, Yahoo first unveiled its plans to bring social networking into their email inbox. Now, over eighteen months and one new CEO later, it looks like those plans are finally ready to roll out.

In changes that bear an eerie resemblance to the most popular social network in the world, Yahoo is bringing your friends’ “connections'” updates, pictures, and birthdays, the Wall Street Journal reports.

yahoomail yahoomail2
WSJ’s new Yahoo image Yahoo’s image from a presentation in Jan 2008

Some users in the US and Australia have already seen the changes, but the new system is set to roll out for all users over the next four weeks.

Yahoo thinks the change will be well received because so many Internet users are using social networking and email—and they believe there’s a big demand for convergence:

“Listening to our users talk about how they want to manage their online lives,” said John Kremer, the vice president of Yahoo Mail, “they are asking us to bring this stuff together and make it easier to consume their world.”

But really, this isn’t a substitute for Facebook. With Facebook, it doesn’t matter what email platform you’re on. Do you think Yahoo’s going to be collecting updates from every mail provider its users communicate with? (As if that were even possible.) In a way, your inbox becomes just another social network to keep up with. Yahoo is already working to overcome this limitation:

Your Yahoo persona does allow you to automatically feed in updates from a handful of other social services, such as Twitter. You can also identify a “connection” as somebody who doesn’t use Yahoo email, but that person has to sign up for a Yahoo account to take full advantage of the sharing. Kremer said that Yahoo will add more outside connection capabilities over time, including the ability for Yahoo status updates to feed into other social networking systems.

To help manage all this, Yahoo is integrating its recent acquisition, Xoopit, a social/email app “that finds photos, video, links and other files in email so that users can surface and then share them on many sites,” as AllThingsD described it. Yahoo Mail will have a new “My Photos” app.

I know what you’re wondering—will it integrate with Flickr? In a word, yep.

Future plans include integrating an invitations app from Evite.

What do you think? Do you want your social updates in your inbox, or is this just one more thing you have to keep up with?

  • Exactly! Yahoo looks like Facebook now with it’s latest updates.
    .-= Jhelo Cruz´s last blog ..Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2009 =-.

  • This is a great add for people who use Yahoo a lot but I don’t think Facebook will be too worried.
    .-= MIchael ´s last blog ..Icing on the SimplyCast cake – A multi-language list manager =-.

  • I am sure Yahoo wil look excelenet with the new updates. They have well prepared people to do this and most of the users are waiting for the new changes.

  • Let the Facebook and Yahoo battle begin! This should be interesting. Yahoo should have rolled this out years ago. I know they tried it with 360 but that was weak to say the least.
    .-= Nick Stamoulis´s last blog ..Can DMOZ Editor Abuse Affect SEO? =-.

  • Emerging technology is just but to equip security world at large.

  • Great article here, but I really don’t think that Yahoo have a great chance of taking on the big guns. It will be interesting to see how it takes off, but I am not expecting anything too spectacular.:D
    .-= Discount Shopping 2K´s last blog ..PC Speakers Under 50 =-.

  • This does not reflect in my mailbox yet…
    But I don’t really expect them to come anywhere close to Facebook. In any case, who uses yahoo mail these days.. Most of us are addicted to gmail now,.

  • this does not reflect in my mailbox
    .-= Avery´s last blog ..FixerLabs Launches Picturefxr iPhone App =-.