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Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Yahoo! Gets Personal With New Social and Local Experiences


Yahoo! on Tuesday meshed Twitter and social game star Zynga into its websites and also revealed that it is testing a service that would let visitors to its properties know of local bargains customized to individual tastes.

The announcements were made at the Web 2.0 Summit.

Updates include Twitter and Zynga integrations across Yahoo!, the global rollout of Yahoo! Messenger Beta with new social features, the launch of Yahoo!'s Local Offers program, and new local Search apps for taking action right from the Yahoo! Search results page. This news follows yesterday's launch of the Yahoo! Contributor Network, inviting people to publish content on Yahoo!.

"Our job is to connect you with the people, places and things that matter most to you - whether that's making a restaurant reservation, finding a discounted tee time, or playing popular online games with friends," said Blake Irving, executive vice president and chief product officer, Yahoo!. "By enhancing Yahoo!'s most popular sites and services with social experiences like Zynga and Twitter, great local content, and a new platform for sharing your voice with the world, we're making Yahoo! an even better place for everyone to stay entertained, productive, and informed."

Today's announcements include the following partnerships and product enhancements:

- Yahoo! Messenger Beta - With the new Yahoo! Messenger Beta available today, people can now play social games from publishers like Zynga, ELEX and OMGPOP, share their status across networks, and view, comment on, and "like" updates from Yahoo! Pulse, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter - all from their instant messaging client. Interoperability with Facebook Chat also broadens the group of friends that people can instantly connect and chat with on Yahoo! Messenger. To get the new version of Yahoo! Messenger, visit here and click "Download Now."

- Yahoo! Contributor Network - Announced yesterday, Yahoo!'s new platform enables people to reach an audience of millions by publishing their creative content on Yahoo!. The Yahoo! Contributor Network is an evolution of the Associated Content platform and will bring contributions from more than 400,000 writers, photographers, and videographers to the Internet?s largest media destinations, including Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Sports, and even the Yahoo! homepage, among many others.

- Zynga - Starting this week, the first phase of integration with Zynga will allow people to launch, play, and share Zynga's popular games like Mafia Wars and FishVille on Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Games, My Yahoo!, Yahoo! Toolbar, and Yahoo! Pulse.

- Twitter - Building on Yahoo!'s Facebook integration, people can now also connect their Yahoo! and Twitter accounts globally to see and share Twitter updates on the Yahoo! homepage, Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Mail, and Yahoo! Pulse.

- Local Offers - Yahoo! is launching its Local Offers program with more than a dozen partners to provide a wide selection of local deals, coupons, and other offers - from nearby spas, restaurants and other local retailers. Currently in limited beta in the U.S., Yahoo!'s Local Offers program will make it easy for people to find the best local deals and savings on Yahoo!. Launch partners include Groupon, LivingSocial, Gilt City, BloomSpot, BuyWithMe, DealOn, Zozi, CrowdSavings, Lifebooker, FreshGuide, Scoop St, Goldstar, HomeRun, Tippr, Coupons.com, and Valpak, with more partners to come.

- Local Search Enhancements - Locally relevant "Quick Apps" will empower people to find restaurants they want and take action on things they discover in a more productive Yahoo! Search. Apps launching later this week include a new and improved Yahoo! Sketch-a-Search for visually zeroing in on a street or neighborhood to find local restaurants - now available across connected devices, including PCs, iPhones, and iPads. Other new apps will enable easy comparisons of local restaurants and let people make reservations through OpenTable right on the Yahoo! Search results page.

All of these new features are built on Yahoo!'s cloud and technology platforms. For example, the integration with Zynga is enabled by the Yahoo! Application Platform (YAP), which facilitates easy social sharing of game notifications across Yahoo!?s audience.


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