The Yahoo Profile Becomes the Social Media Profile

    September 22, 2009
    Chris Crum

Yahoo is highlighting some new features for its profile pages.The layout of the tabs at the top has changed, and a new one has been added that allows the user to access their account info. In addition, users can mouse over any of the tabs and easily see the options within each one. In other words, you don’t have to leave your profile to find your settings. If you want to use "profile settings," it is still there, but it’s been moved down beside the profile photo.

Yahoo has also made the profile photo easier to change. Simply mouse over the current photo and click the "change photo" link that shows up. The "find people" search bar has been redesigned as well. It’s in the "connections" module at the top right of the page.

New Yahoo Profile

The more noteworthy feature that Yahoo has added is a "My Updates" section, as you can see prominently in the above screenshot. You can add the sites you want to share updates from, much like FriendFeed. You can control who sees updates in the "manage my updates" link at the top of the section.

"If you’ve already closed the ‘Share Sharing Updates From Other Websites’ module, you can still add other websites by clicking "Share More’," the Yahoo Profiles Team points out.

It is interesting to see how Yahoo is evolving into a more social network-like entity. I would be surprised if Google Profiles didn’t eventually start including a similar feature to "my updates." Google has put a good deal more emphasis on the user profile this past year than it has before, but that is still a missing feature.

On Google, you can add any links to your social profiles you want, but it doesn’t let you import your updates right onto it. This would be a significant feature if they added it, especially considering Google profiles show up on the first page of results in name searches now.

Google recently launched the Data Liberation Front, a group dedicated to the data portability around Google Products. They set up a site that tells you how to import/export data for a number of products, and they say they are focusing on expanding such features for more products. Profiles are a product that makes too much sense to think that they wouldn’t do this eventually – especially now that Yahoo’s doing it.