There's good news and more good news for Yahoo fans this week: the company is preparing to upgrade one of its social offerings in a significant way, and while doing so, is trying very hard not to repeat the privacy-related mistakes that Google and Facebook have made in recent months.
A post on Yodel Anecdotal explained, "In the coming weeks, we'll be expanding Yahoo! Updates in Yahoo! Mail to enable you to see public updates from some of your Messenger friends and Yahoo! Contacts in addition to your Connections. Before long, we'll also allow you to start sharing your Updates with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks if you want - another great improvement and big step forward."
Then here's a key point: although Updates will be public by default, Yahoo's posting notices on many of its sites regarding this fact, and the blog post stated, "[Y]ou can easily limit who sees your Updates stream either by editing the controls for each specific activity (i.e. sharing photos on Flickr or commenting on Yahoo! News articles) or by turning your Updates stream off entirely in one simple step. We've made sure this control is easy to find . . ."
Yahoo should be able to avoid controversy, then, while doing a better job of keeping up with its competitors and engaging users.