social networking

Joseph Menn

Yahoo executives on Thursday outlined plans to improve its mail, news and other main services in the next few months, pledging faster load times, better integration with Facebook and Twitter, and deeper personalisation.

Chief product officer Blake Irving, who has been on the job since April, didn’t signal any bold new direction during the presentation at the company’s Sunnyvale headquarters. Instead, he argued that the company has been on the right track all along and just needs to move faster. Read more

Joseph Menn

Some very nice Yahoo executives came by the FT bureau in San Francisco this afternoon to remind us that they have a search strategy and that they are still planning to integrate Facebook and Twitter activity so that Yahoo users can see what their friends and relations are doing without leaving the land of purple.

In the next couple of weeks, they said, Yahoo will start showing you when people in your Yahoo address book comment on Yahoo News stories (some 60,000 did that on a single Mississippi prom-related piece a while back), rate a song or movie, or otherwise interact with bits of Yahoo content. Read more

Maija Palmer

spying

Privacy activists have had a busy few weeks. First there was Google’s announcement that it would start using behavioural targeting for its display advertising, which had them up in arms. The following week Google launched Street View, the controversial 3D mapping feature, in the UK, again drawing protest. The latest concern is over revelations that the UKgovernment is thinking of monitoring social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Bebo as part of its anti-terrorism measures.

 

There is already an EU directive on monitoring emails and internet usage, requiring internet service providers to store traffic data for 12 months. Since the July 2005 the UK government has been keen to broaden the scope of the ways it can monitor for terrorists. This latest proposal is to extend this to social networking sites, which have become hugely popular after the proposals were first formulated.

  Read more

Facebook’s users are bound to be excited by news that the social network is planning to roll out its own chat service in the coming weeks; Facebook developers, perhaps not so much.

There are dozens of developers offering chat applications designed to run on the Facebook platform. Facebook’s decision to get into the chat business for itself means those developers will now have to grapple with an 800 lb gorilla in the room, sucking up all the air Read more