The new RSS feed alert service will allow people to receive alerts via e-mail, instant message or SMS message, just as they currently can receive alerts for news stories about a specified topic, stock moves and game scores.
"You can get an alert for any RSS feed out there on the Internet," said Scott Gatz, senior director of personalization products for Yahoo. "There are a million different feeds that people have subscribed to using Yahoo products," including Yahoo News, Yahoo Mobile and My Yahoo. People can subscribe to RSS feeds by typing in the feed's Web address at Yahoo's alerts service page or choose from a list of the feeds they already subscribe to on the My Yahoo Web site, Gatz said.
Within a week or so, RSS feed publishers will be able to put a button on their Web sites that will allow people to subscribe to the feeds there and receive them in their Yahoo services, he said.
Yahoo also is integrating the My Yahoo RSS feed subscriptions directly into the new Yahoo Mail beta test service so people can read them when they check their e-mail, archive them and easily forward them to people in their contact list.
Users will be able to click on an "All Feeds" icon on the side of the e-mail interface and see the full RSS posts from the My Yahoo page, a selection of the most popular feeds or feeds that have been manually chosen.
A Google representative said the company is offering RSS feeds to some Gmail users but has not launched a publicly available service.