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6/2/2010
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Yahoo Broadens Social Networking Reach

By streaming updates to more of its services and tweaking privacy controls, Yahoo extends its social networking capabilities.

Yahoo is today expected to unveil the latest steps in its foray into the social networking world, leveraging its vast pool of email subscribers to share information and communicate updates across the Internet.

"For some time now, we’ve been adding Yahoo Updates into more of our products like Yahoo Mail, Messenger and Profiles. This phased integration has been happening over the past year so we could understand what users like and don’t like and then integrate feedback. Our users are using Updates and we’re happy to report that we have had overwhelmingly positive feedback," wrote Anne Toth, vice president, Global Policy and head of privacy at Yahoo, and Cody Simms, senior director, Yahoo Social Platforms and Yahoo Developer Network (YDN), in a company blog.

"In the coming weeks, we’ll be expanding Yahoo Updates in Yahoo Mail to enable you to see public updates from some of your Messenger friends and Yahoo Contacts in addition to your Connections. Before long, we’ll also allow you to start sharing your Updates with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks if you want -- another great improvement and big step forward," they wrote.

Account holders may edit controls based on activity -- such as sharing photos via Flickr or commenting on articles using Yahoo News -- or by completely turning off the Updates stream in one step, said Toth and Simms. This control is located at the top of the page, with a single on/off check-box, according to Yahoo. The company also included granular controls for users seeking settings somewhere between off and on.

Yahoo has been dipping many toes into social networking waters. On May 25, the company acquired Koprol, which allows users to connect and share photos, reviews, and additional information about locations in real-time, using just their mobile phone browsers.

A day earlier, Yahoo and Nokia unveiled a partnership extending the reach of their online services in e-mail, instant messaging, maps and navigation services.

And in mid-May, Yahoo signed a definitive agreement to purchase Associated Content, a provider of content on a wide variety of topics.

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