The big picture behind Yahoo! changes
In reading some of the recent comments on this blog, I’ve noticed that some folks have the impression that some of the recent changes going on around the network (updated profiles for example) are happening for no reason. So I thought I would take a moment to give a refresher on the big picture.
You may remember back in January I posted about Jerry’s presentation during CES. In it he spoke about a more open and social experience for Yahoo! users. He also showed off the concept for Yahoo! Mail incorporating applications that leverage some of the social connections you have with others on the network.
Over the last few weeks there were two major developments that represent big steps in that direction. First we have the changes to profiles. More recently, Jay Rossiter (SVP who is helming the whole “open” thing) announced on Yodel that the doors for developers have officially opened. Here’s a chunk of what he had to say about the plan.
Most obvious will be the social aspects. At a high level, we’re rolling out a social platform that will draw on the hundreds of millions of connections on Yahoo! – everything from random encounters with someone who commented on the same photo as you, to deep connections you have with friends who know nearly everything about you. By using the social contacts you already have on Yahoo! — through Mail, Messenger, Flickr, Finance, Fantasy Sports, etc. — we’ll make those social connections more active and useful. Most importantly, by enabling developers to make your social connections specific to the Yahoo! service you’re using, we believe you’ll enjoy some incredibly unique and creative new experiences that we would never have thought of.
Some developers were able to get a head start on this by participating in the Yahoo! Open Hack Day in September. Developers spent much of the event working on applications that would benefit Mail users, but the concept spreads across the network. Xoopit managed to pull down the best overall award with an application for Mail that gave users the ability to easily browse within Mail for media files that are attached to messages.
I know that this won’t answer all questions people have, but hopefully it’s reassuring to see what some of the stuff is building toward. You can even take a gander at the Mail related section of Jerry’s video for a refresher.