Yahoo is going to try it again. They are jumping back into the social networking game. When I went to my Yahoo profile the other day to make some adjustments to what information was presented, I noticed the link pointed me to a new destination. The page said that Yahoo has updated their profiles and are now calling the thing “Pulse”. Is this what Yahoo needs to do? How will it turn out this time, and what are some ideas that will help them succeed. What elements are there, and what ones aren’t…at least yet.
Yahoo decided to ditch Yahoo! 360 a while back now. It was a cluttered, ugly attempt at social networking on Yahoo’s part. However, it wasn’t facing Facebook when it was rolled out. Their focus was on the leader of the pack at the time, MySpace. Myspace didn’t have an all that attractive layout at the time, and still doesn’t. Yahoo just needed to make sure all of their features were represented. They did an okay job of it, but it wasn’t promoted heavily, and it remained in Beta for the entire time it was out. Not just that, but it felt like production on 360 stopped as soon as it was out. No new features were implemented. It died.
Yahoo then revamped their Profiles platform. A platform that has been around for years. Yahoo began implementing new social network style concepts, such as friends list, blogs, and other features. However, it still felt just like a normal “profile”.
From the new profiles, Yahoo has given birth to Pulse. Pulse is a good start for Yahoo to get back into the social game. Rather than take on Facebook and Twitter directly, Yahoo Pulse actually integrates your wall and twitter notifications directly into your Pulse Home. You have a “Contacts” tab, but it doesn’t integrate your Yahoo friends automatically, nor your Yahoo Mail contacts. You have a Photo tab that is not linked to anything. So, again, you are starting all over with your images. There is no direct clicker integration either.
You have a blog, but it would appear that if you used the blog over on your old “new profile” after the 360 days, it is lost. Yahoo seems to have basically reboot the entire process to the point that you will literally feel like are starting over again, as well.
Yahoo did catch up with everyone with the inclusion of apps. There are a slew of different apps available, but still far short of what Facebook and MySpace have. This is a good start, however.
So far, I keep thinking to myself “Fail” towards Yahoo. They have been such a player over the years to only fall short like this. Is “Fail” to harsh, or should it actually be “Epic Fail”?