Yahoo! Gets 'Buzzed' Up

Dennis Faas's picture

Ever since Microsoft announced its failed attempt to acquire Sunnyvale-based Yahoo, the Internet portal has let out a flurry of activity to show that it is still strong enough to stand on its own. Now, Yahoo has announced its latest innovation: a Digg-style news page called "Yahoo! Buzz."

The first thing Yahoo did once the Microsoft deal was denied was enter into a 'strategic partnership' with T-mobile to bring Yahoo content to European mobile phones.  It has also acquired Maven networks, a video platform provider, to shore up its advertising business and the search company expanded its newspaper consortium to include 30% of America's daily newspapers.

What's all the 'Buzz' about?

Unlike other social sites, Buzz combines user votes with search popularity statistics to rate the top stories of the day. In a statement released earlier this week, Tapan Bhat, Vice President of Yahoo's Front Doors and Network Services said, "With Yahoo! Buzz, we are building on the recent success of the homepage of Yahoo! and improving consumers' favorite online starting point, by combining popular stories with the wisdom of real people to determine what is most engaging and relevant."

Currently in beta (testing) mode, Yahoo! Buzz has an attractive homepage featuring photographs from recently added stories, followed by the top stories and their "buzz score" with a button underneath the score encouraging users to 'buzz up!' their favorite stories. The approach is somewhat similar to Digg in look and feel, but unlike other voting sites, Yahoo will feed top stories from Buzz into its main site, which other social networking sites won't be able to compete with. (Source:

While Buzz seems to show Yahoo's willingness to adapt to the changing methods of communication and interactivity on the web, not everyone is thrilled with the new service. Rick Aristotle Munarriz at 'The Motley Fool' points out that Yahoo's decision to imitate other Web 2.0 services shows a lack of originality; historically the company has not fared well when it attempts to imitate success, and the branding of already belongs to AT&T (which incidentally is using the site for a similar news-rating page). (Source:

It will be interesting to see if Buzz becomes a successful part of Yahoo's online business. With 500 million users around the world, the company has the fan base to support it. However, with so many other similar services out there Yahoo will certainly have to compete for relevance.

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