According to sources unnamed by the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo is going to introduce something called Y Connect, which would essentially be copying Facebook, not only in name, but in concept. This would be a Facebook Connect-like product that allows third party sites to let users access their Yahoo contacts info, much like you can do with your Facebook friends on a growing number of sites on the web.
"People familiar with the matter" cited by the WSJ claim that the product will be launched this fall, and that the Huffington Post will use it, which would be a good start in terms of getting it in front of users.
Yahoo could really use a successful product launch, but its hard to imagine just how successful this will be. Is this a product that users need, considering over 500 million people are already using Facebook and associate that with sharing things with their friends?
Things are obviously working out for Facebook. The company is expected to make $1.5 billion in advertising revenue this year. Frédéric Filloux says that advertisers rely on three strategies on Facbook, with one of them being the social plugins (integration with third party sites). Yahoo is scheduled to present its financial results tomorrow.
No matter how it works out for Yahoo, it should only help publishers by allowing greater usability and engagement opportunities for users, and while Yahoo may not be the flavor of the week, it still has a ton of users. The product can’t hurt.