Under the hood: New open platforms wiring Yahoo’s social dimension

We're OPEN at Yahoo!You may not have noticed that we flipped some switches this morning and the consumer release of Y!OS 1.0 is now live, underlying a new user-facing "universal profile" page. The base platform that rolled into production will serve as the foundation for developer-facing technology initiatives in 2009 and beyond.

On the user experience side, we overhauled many of the central identity services that people use every day including the address book and profile. On the platform side, we built an open and extensible architecture that makes it easier to reuse elements across our properties. And very soon we'll open this platform up to the rest of the world, so publishers and developers (you) can build experiences for Yahoo! users anywhere on the web using this same open and extensible architecture.

Here's a quick list of the new platforms that are rolling out today. If you're an avid YDN reader, you probably recognize these as the Social APIs we published in preview mode a few weeks back. Introducing the social suite:

  • Social Directory - defines user profile data and reciprocated user relationship data (connections)
  • Contacts/Address Book - defines mapping of user contacts
  • Updates - enables users to implicitly share actions and content events with one another and to discover actions that others are taking
  • Presence: Enables users to share simple status text

    Yes, these are the same social APIs we previewed at Open Hack 2008 and they'll be available to you within weeks (trick or treat!) -- along with several other key technologies, including YQL and YAP. We think of these as the basic ingredients and tools for social experiences. As app developers, you'll bring your own recipe and your own secret sauce. The social APIs unlock Yahoo's vast audience and their implicit social graphs.

    Big thanks to all who've been working to make this happen -- inside and outside of Yahoo! - we can't wait to see what you cook up.

    Neal Sample
    Y!OS Chief Architect