Yahoo has been testing various redesigns of its homepage for months, but now it has announced the "new Yahoo experience".
Note: We've updated this article from its original form, and since it was first posted, the negative comments have flooded in. While you will typically see this with any redesign of a major property, we're not seeing a whole lot of positive ones to balance them out.
Anything you do like about it? What do you or don't you like about the revamp? Let us know in the comments.
"Over the years, Yahoo! has evolved from a directory of links to a place that helps millions of people go about their daily habits," a spokesperson for the company told WebProNews on Wednesday. "Beginning today, you will start to see a new Yahoo! that’s designed to be more modern, intuitive, and personal, and I wanted to make sure you got the news from the company."
Here's what the homepage looks like now:
New features include:
- A newsfeed with infinite scroll
- Newly designed apps for stock quotes, sports scores, weather, Flickr photos, friends' birthdays and horoscope
- Yahoo and Facebook login, which let you see personalized articles based on what your friends have shared
- A more consistent experience across the web, smartphones and tablets
- Under-the-hood improvements to speed things up
CEO Marissa Mayer wrote a blog post about the new experience.
"Designed to be more intuitive and personal, the new Yahoo! experience is all about your interests and preferences," she says. "Since streams of information have become the paradigm of choice on the web, we’re introducing a newsfeed with infinite scroll, letting you experience a virtually endless feed of news articles. Whether you are a sports fanatic or entertainment buff, you can easily customize your newsfeed to your interests. And, to make Yahoo! even more social, you can log in with your Yahoo! or Facebook ID to get articles from thousands of news sources as well as those shared by your friends."
"Because you come to Yahoo! everyday for must-know information, we’ve also introduced newly designed applications," she adds. "From your local weather forecast to Facebook friends’ birthdays, you’ll always have the information you need. We’ve also refreshed some of what you love most -- including our Yahoo! editorial features, and the daily snapshot into popular trending web searches."
Mike Kerns, VP, Product, discussed the new Yahoo experience in more detail in a post on Yahoo's blog.
"To view more personally relevant content in the newsfeed, just sign in with your Yahoo! or Facebook ID in the upper right corner of your screen," he explains. "The newsfeed defaults to a 'blend' of story types, but also allows you to filter your view through a handful of popular categories, such as news, local, entertainment and sports. For additional choices in the newsfeed filter, just click the 'More' button to choose from other categories that interest you like business, technology, politics or science. If you want to see fewer stories about a particular topic in the future, hover your cursor to the right of the story and click on the 'X' button. And remember, the more feedback you provide, the more personalized and relevant your experience will be."
"In addition to seeing news stories that your friends have read and shared, you can easily share with them," he says. "When you come across a news item that you’d like to share, hover over it to view a button that allows you to share the story via email, Facebook, or Twitter."
There are a total of seven new applications on the right side of the screen for: weather, stocks, sports, friends' birthdays, horoscopes, Flickr photos, and popular videos from Yahoo. These can be personalized by hovering over the upper right side to clic the gears icon.
"For example, getting ready for March Madness? Add your favorite teams to the Sports application to catch up on the latest scores," says Kerns. "Keeping an eye on your investments? To view stock quotes, click on the gears icon in the Quotes application to integrate your portfolio, look up quotes, or add new stocks. Travel often? Add as many cities as you’d like to the Weather application."
You can also click the "x" button in the upper right corner of the application box to remove the application, should you see fit. There's a "restore all" button a the bottom if you want to bring it back later.
As mentioned, the new design is consistent with the mobile experience, which lets you swipe through the "Today" stories. You can scroll down the newsfeed, and swipe left to take action on the content (like share it). You can also swipe left to access the applications.
The new design is in the process of rolling out in the U.S. Mayer says they'll be making additional (but unspecified) changes in the coming months. We're already seeing a lot of feedback (sadly, most of it is negative). It will be interesting to see how Yahoo responds.
Yahoo has indicated that it is focused on search, as it released its Q4 and full year 2012 earnings helped significantly by it. Whether or not Yahoo's future search plans include Microsoft remains to be seen. Even if Yahoo wants to abandon the companies' "Search Alliance," Microsoft will do its best not to make it easy.
Right now, Yahoo needs to be concerned about keeping users on its still massively popular homepage. Yahoo has a realtime counter that shows how many people have visited the homepage up to the current time on any given day. At the time of this writing, tt's just 8:40 Eastern, and it's already received nearly 40 million views today so far.
What do you think of the new homepage? Let us know in the comments.