Revamped My Yahoo Launches Amid Intensifying Competition

Read/WriteWeb has a good overview of the just yesterday relaunched (ahead of schedule) new, more ajaxified MyYahoo. There are a number of improvements and upgrades:

* Pre-built personalized pages * Category pages for topics and “content suggestions” * Further customization of their page with drag-and-drop modules * Feed previews and a full post reader on the page * Editable Personal Assistant with instant access to things like Yahoo! Mail, horoscopes, local traffic, etc * Redesigned modules from Yahoo! and partners, with games, music, commerce, sports updates, weather, finance portfolios, TV listings, etc. * Sharing feature, enabling users to send their My Yahoo! page or favorite modules with friends and family * More “new interactive modules” to come

This long-overdue update comes amid increasing competition from GoogleIG, Netvibes, Pageflakes, the recently launched MyNetscape and others (e.g., Webwag).

One of the nice features of the new My Yahoo is what might be called a “floating” RSS reader that has a large preview pane and allows for easy paging through articles/posts.

I have long believed that My Yahoo is a strategic asset that the mothership has allowed to languish. Unlike any other site (save Google), it has the capacity to truly mainstream newsreaders/RSS. And this upgrade should prevent some defections to competitors that might have happened had Yahoo failed to make these changes.

But the real opportunity is not simply to hold ground and prevent “defections” but to truly mainstream RSS and personalization. My Yahoo has a self-reported 50 million users, but there hasn’t been much active customization. Netvibes has 10 million users according to the company. But those are admittedly “early adopters.” And Pageflakes CEO Dan Cohen and I recently discussed what it might take to mainstream personal start pages.

To that end, the new “packaged pages” on My Yahoo go some distance in this direction by making it easy (like sharing) for people to customize and add content without too much effort.

Several posts have pointed out similarities between the Yahoo homepage design and MyYahoo and speculated about whether similar customization is coming to the Yahoo homepage. One interesting feature of the new MyYahoo is its “pre-customization” based on registration data and, to some degree, user behavior. Accordingly, there are “content suggestions” for users. (Widgets are coming.)

One view of this newly competitive “personal dashboard” segment is that these sites are the new portals and will eventually replace “static” portal sites. That remains to be seen as does whether these sites can break through a devoted “early adopter” segment and become a mainstream phenomenon.

Here’s my previous post about Netvibes and how these personalized homepages could replace some usage of search.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Yahoo: My Yahoo


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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