Yahoo jazzes up home page with major makeover

Jul 21, 2009 By MICHAEL LIEDTKE , AP Technology Writer
This screen shot provided by Yahoo Inc. shows the newly re-designed Yahoo site scheduled to debut Tuesday, July 21, 2009 in the United States. (AP Photo/Yahoo Inc.)

(AP) -- Yahoo Inc. is sprucing up its Web site's home page with a long-promised makeover that is supposed to make it easier to see what's happening at the Internet's other hot spots.

The revamped , scheduled to debut Tuesday in the United States, is part of an overhaul aimed at recapturing some of the buzz that Yahoo has lost to increasingly popular online hangouts like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Even as Yahoo's star has faded, its has remained among the Internet's busiest. More than 570 million people worldwide came to Yahoo in May, according to the most recent data available from online research firm comScore Inc.

The retooled page will be introduced in the United Kingdom, India and France later this week. It will roll out to the rest of the world during the next year, with the option to retain the old design starting to phase out this fall.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company is hailing the new look as the biggest change to its front page since Yahoo's Web site launched 15 years ago. It's the first time that Yahoo has overhauled its home page since 2006.

"Every pixel on the page is relevant now," boasted Tapan Bhat, a Yahoo senior vice president who oversaw the revisions. "We have taken out a lot of our own stuff that was creating a dead zone for our users."

After spending the past 10 months tinkering with the redesign, Yahoo has a lot riding on the new look. The company sorely needs a lift, with its profits mired in a slump that has led to three different chief executives since June 2007.

, the latest CEO hired six months ago, has predicted the revised home page will help revive the company by re-establishing its Web site as an Internet gateway for more people. If she is right, Yahoo could get a better handle on its users' interests and ultimately sell more of the ads that generate most of its revenue.

Yahoo hadn't intended to take the wraps off the redesigned page until the fall, but apparently felt like it had all the pieces in place now.

While Yahoo was trying to figure out what it wanted to include in the new home page, other online social hubs have become even more deeply ingrained in people's lives.

Facebook, for instance, now has more than 250 million regular users worldwide, up from about 100 million last September when Yahoo first began to publicly discuss its vision for the home page. Meanwhile, Twitter has evolved from a quirky obscurity into a pervasive communications tool for passing along blurbs of personal information, as well as links to news stories and photos.

Yahoo is betting its home page will be more useful if it's easier for people to connect with information and services available elsewhere.

Users can plant a variety of applications from other Web site onto a "My Favorites" section of the redesigned front page. The 65 applications initially available on Yahoo's new page include competing e-mail services from Google Inc. and AOL as well as plug-ins for Facebook and .

Once the outside applications are set up, Yahoo visitors can scroll over their favorite sites to get a glimpse at what's happening elsewhere without leaving Yahoo.

The front page's news section will automatically feature stories from newspapers located in a user's area and enable people to broadcast what they are doing or thinking, just as millions already do every day on Facebook and Twitter.

isn't currently offering a Twitter application, but will eventually, Bhat said.

The home page preferences programmed on a computer can also be transferred to appear on mobile phones and other handheld devices.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Facebook goes retro with 'Rooms' chat app

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Yahoo searching for ways to show fewer Web links

May 20, 2009

(AP) -- Yahoo Inc. is pruning Web links from its Internet search results as it strives to provide more immediate gratification and lure traffic away from the market leader, Google Inc.

Yahoo CEO promises shareholders to get 'mojo back'

Jun 25, 2009

(AP) -- Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz echoed the turnaround promises of her predecessors as she presided over the first shareholder meeting since her hiring, yet she left little doubt the slumping Internet company's ...

Earning preview: Microsoft looms over Yahoo 2Q

Jul 20, 2009

(AP) -- Internet pioneer Yahoo Inc. is scheduled to report its second-quarter results after the stock market closes Tuesday. The following is a summary of key developments and analyst opinion related to the period.

LinkedIn connects with ex-Yahoo exec as new CEO

Jun 24, 2009

(AP) -- After six months of grooming, LinkedIn Corp. founder Reid Hoffman has decided former Yahoo Inc. executive Jeff Weiner is ready to take over his job running the Internet's largest site devoted to professional networking.

Recommended for you

Facebook goes retro with 'Rooms' chat app

11 hours ago

Facebook on Thursday released an application that lets people create virtual "rooms" to chat about whatever they wish using any name they would like.

Some online shoppers pay more than others, study shows

13 hours ago

Internet users regularly receive all kinds of personalized content, from Google search results to product recommendations on Amazon. This is thanks to the complex algorithms that produce results based on users' profiles and ...

Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps

Oct 22, 2014

Twitter on Wednesday set out to weave itself into mobile applications with a free "Fabric" platform to help developers build better programs and make more money.

Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

Oct 22, 2014

Google is introducing an application designed to make it easier for its Gmail users to find and manage important information that can often become buried in their inboxes.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

JerryPark
not rated yet Jul 21, 2009
Looks good.
ZenaV
not rated yet Jul 22, 2009
I don't like it. When your mouse just slides over one of the subjects, it throws the mess up on the screen and then it's a pain to move it. It steals productive time.