During the early weeks of June, the Social Platforms team successfully launched Social 2.2, which included the coordinated release of software updates to 9 different social platforms (including Social Directory, Address Book, Updates, and YQL) and the cross-company release of social features in over 12 properties in many international markets. It was a challenging week with many moving parts. A big thank you to all the teams involved in these complex and interdependent pushes. Many aspects of these releases don't touch external developers directly, but give a glimpse of the scale and significance of the technology and its architecture.
I want to articulate how this release ties into Yahoo!'s overarching social strategy and how it helps achieve our broader objectives. Its key to keep an eye on bigger picture. (keep checking the TVs on E2 in Sunnyvale to see our daily progress):
Internally, we've established three social objectives:
- To aggregate social activity from across the Web into Yahoo! to enrich our starting points & content experiences.
- To distribute Yahoo!s social activity (content & actions) across the web to grow our reach & bring more people to Yahoo!.
- To drive more engagement on Yahoo! with a combination of social and programmed content that Yahoo! can deliver.
Aggregate Social on Y!
Social aggregation is about allowing the Yahoo! user to aggregate their off-network experiences at a single consumption point on Yahoo!, whether it's a profile page or the homepage, or the Yahoo! Mail start page. Here are some features we released in 2.2 in support of this. We built the Credential Store, for instance, to aid our ability to implement and manage user accounts and preferences for integration of Yahoo! with Twitter and other social services.
We now provide tables that allow delete functionality on third-party sites like Facebook and Twitter. Features like this encourage and enable users to stay on Yahoo! to consume their aggregated social experience. This feature also Supports ID lookups for internal Yahoo! properties so that they can fully integrate with social platform content.
Enhancements that detect dupes if same GUID is found in two contacts.
Give users instant gratification in the form of public updates from imported friends.
Distribute Yahoo! Social Actions & Content off Network
Social distribution is about getting more referrals back from third-party networks to Yahoo! and converting those referrals to active Yahoo! users. Here are the 2.2 features that were built to further the social distribution strategy:
Emails are now sent to Yahoo! users who participate in the Updates commenting feature, thus driving traffic back to Yahoo when people interact with social features.
Allow filtering and syndication of events based on grouped permissions. Once this feature is exposed in Pulse and across the network in common components, our users will have greater control over their content.
Created global collections for all YAP and Aggregator sources and exposed them in YDN APIs so that developers and partners can access the rich content flowing through Yahoo Updates in off network applications.
These transforms take content created on Yahoo and package it up an appropriate manner for distribution on Facebook. This is huge!
Notification mechanism that will allow mobile partners to pull when AB changes
Ability to categorize relationships into Lists and manage those Lists. As relationships graphs grow and users are able to import external graphs (i.e. Messenger buddies, delicious contacts, etc) they will need tools that provide flexibility and control.
Ability to consume and produce Updates based on generated lists.
Drive more engagement on Yahoo! by combining Social & Programmed Content
As we provide an aggregated social experience and drive more referrals from third parties back to Yahoo!, it is incredibly important for us to drive engagement on Yahoo! to extract the most value from social aggregation & distribution. Here are the 2.2 features that contribute to increase in engagement on Yahoo!:
Improvements to network wide Updates templates. Better UI display and richer Updates result in more clicks.
Performance improvements = Twitter will be the next social networking partner brought online in 2010. Much of the work has been done in 2.2 and you can see internal pilots in products like Galaxy, Metro, and Pulse. Public release will occur in the 2.3 timeframe.
Retweet/reply feature in Updates allows users to engage with Twitter content in an expected manner and increases overall distribution of content (launch in 2.3)
Provide a more intelligent people search API that includes users social graph to sort results based on mutual relationships.
Created and release 7 new templates for the Pulse launch.
New template created for account linking. These emails encourage follow-up usage and educate the user to features now available due to linking accounts.
Headless access for Delicious and 4 new templates to drive product engagement.
If you have any questions, please find the appropriate platform PM and take them to coffee. Each should be listed in the above roadmap details. If you made it to the bottom of this email, I congratulate you. Please stop by my desk for your prize. ;)
Everyone should be very proud of their contributions in this release! Even though this email only covers the Social platform contributions, please extend warm congratulations to all the teams that worked hard during this timeframe to make Yahoo a better place.
YOS Platform PM Vitality