Well, I have to say that coming off a long weekend and having nothing to yell at Facebook for (at least to this point in the day) there is precious little else going on in the Internet marketing space. Believe me, I am not complaining because it can be nice when the industry takes a break to grab a little cheese with their whine. In other words, when no one is griping about something then there is not as much news. Just that statement on its own tells you something doesn’t it?
Back to reality though. Apparently Yahoo is working to make its mail service more social by allowing users to track other users more easily. Of course, considering how great these services worked out for Google and Facebook, Yahoo is being pretty cautious. They haven’t provided much in terms of innovation as of late so they last thing they need are changes that would produce a negative backlash.
Here’s the product expansion in a nutshell – currently to see status updates for others in Yahoo Mail, you have to have a mutual follow, meaning both people have agreed to be “friends.” You can then see that user’s Yahoo status updates as well as updates on third party services that they have added to their Yahoo profile as well. In the new version there will no longer be a requirement for a mutual follow. So, like on Twitter, users can follow whomever they choose.
Ok, harmless enough. My question is though, who is using Yahoo to track their social media interactions? I have been a Yahoo mail user for a long time and I just never consider Yahoo for being the one-stop shop for my social media interactions.
Whether or not this is a viable option for you, Yahoo is at least trying to make sure that privacy concerns are not raised.
Yahoo Chief Privacy Officer Anne Toth, who has been with Yahoo since 1998, says that there will be no privacy surprises for users, who can choose to turn sharing on, turn it off, or make more granular settings. One thing users will have to get comfortable with is the fact that most of this data is by definition public anyway. The privacy settings simply allow those users to decide whether others can follow you, and get notifications on new content you’ve created.
So it looks like if anything has come out of the Facebook privacy debacle it’s that at least others have heard the cry of the masses (or just the social media insiders which is what I contend is more like the truth) and privacy is once again sacred……for the moment.