Yahoo continues new product parade with Buzz

What's the Buzz about? Looks like another Yahoo product coming fast out of the gates, despite the looming acquisition by software giant Microsoft.

Lately it seems that Friday is the new day for Yahoo news around here. Apple's got Tuesday mornings locked, and Microsoft prefers 3 a.m., so the Web giant seems to have decided to go for the day when everyone's half-checked out of the office. Earlier today we looked at the new face of Yahoo Video, and about the same time Valleywag got the scoop on a new Yahoo service called "Buzz" that's set to launch later this month.

So what is it? It's a buzz tracker for news items picked not only by user voting (like Digg, Propeller, Reddit, et al), but also for items people are searching for both on Yahoo and on the company's publisher network. According to Valleywag, the service is opening up small, about 100 or so publishers until the Summer (that is if Microsoft doesn't kill it off if the acquisition goes through) before making it available to all the sites.

We contacted Yahoo for more information on the service. Yahoo spokeswoman Kelley Podboy told us:

Yahoo! Buzz is part of a new initiative we are testing to surface interesting content from around the Web. We will be sharing more details of the initiative in the coming weeks. Ongoing product innovation is important to Yahoo! And we continue to test various products and services to gain valuable feedback and insights from our users.

According to Valleywag, the release date is set for February 26th, which falls on a Tuesday. There are also screenshots of the service in action here and here.

It should be noted Yahoo has maintained the domain since late 2005 when it started "The Buzz Blog" a companion to Yahoo's Buzz Index which is a daily tracker the likes of Google's Yearly Zeitgeist. The service helped track hot searches like music on the Billboard Charts. The new system would simply combine this with user voting and sourcing searches from smaller sites.

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