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Yahoo shares your tweets, other online activity

The Internet pioneer has switched on a significant element of its Yahoo Open Strategy: the ability to broadcast online activity to your social circle.

Yahoo has fired up a major part of its Yahoo Open Strategy, the ability to broadcast blog postings, tweets, photo uploads, Yelp reviews, and other activity to members of your online social circle.

The change to Yahoo Updates makes the company potentially more competitive with services such as FriendFeed and Facebook, which do much the same thing, though they also offer to show activity on other services including Amazon, Digg, and Google Reader.

Yahoo Update lets you sign up to broadcast activity from various online services.
Yahoo Update lets you sign up to broadcast activity from various online services. (Click to enlarge.) Yahoo

Offering the 21 third-party services helps with part of Yahoo's chicken-and-egg problem; the other half is actually attracting people to use it. Yahoo has hundreds of millions of active users, but they haven't been trained to use Yahoo for social-networking tasks.

Yahoo can show activity from 34 of its own online properties, but some obvious candidates--for example Flickr for photo sharing and commentary and Delicious for bookmark sharing--aren't yet available. "Updates from (Yahoo) Buzz, Music, and TV you can share. For other services, we are building out the number of Updates sources as quickly as we can," said spokeswoman Lucy Chung.

Yahoo Open Strategy is a major part of Yahoo's effort to retool for a new era in Internet use. It was left behind by several start-ups, but is hoping it will be able to catch up by energizing its large membership.

Other parts of the Yahoo Open Strategy include letting others rejigger search results through BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service), presenting specific search results more elaborately through SearchMonkey, adding online applications on Yahoo Mail, My Yahoo, and front page, and revamping Flickr to spotlight social connections.

If successful, Yahoo will get more users as well as more activity and loyalty from existing users. That will let the company sell more and perhaps better ads as well.

For details on how to use the new options, check Yahoo's blog posting on the subject.