Yahoo Blogging Service Boosts Content

Yahoo plans to add the capability to import content, such as photos and music, from non-Yahoo applications to its new Yahoo 360 social networking and blogging service, according to an executive of the company.

"Some of the things that people very much want to do is to share content from other sources outside of Yahoo," says Paul Brody, director of community products at Yahoo. "[Yahoo] 360 right now does a great job of allowing you to share the content you might have already on Yahoo."

The Yahoo 360 service entered a limited beta period in late March and is available to users invited by Yahoo to try it out. The service lets them publish blogs, share content, and post pictures, and also control who can visit the site. It currently allows users to include content from other Yahoo services such as Yahoo Photos and Yahoo Music, Brody says.

To expand that capability, Yahoo 360 initially will allow users to include RSS feeds from other sources, according to Brody, who says Yahoo wants its Yahoo 360 service to be an "open" product. "If you have content anywhere on the Internet, you should be able to share it with friends and family through Yahoo 360," he says.

Widely Available

Yahoo 360 will be made widely available to the public in the next few weeks, at which time the capability to share non-Yahoo content will also be included, Brody says.

The beta period is designed to help Yahoo gather feedback from users to improve the service. For example, as a result of the feedback, Yahoo is working to give bloggers greater flexibility in customizing their blogs, and also to give them features such as "trackback," Brody says.

Early users also said they are interested in working with non-Yahoo applications, such as third-party instant messaging services, from within Yahoo 360, Brody says. That may take sometime, however. In cases in which application interfaces are not published openly, Yahoo may have to arrange sharing deals with companies offering the applications, he says.

Localized versions of Yahoo 360 will be launched soon in some countries in Asia and Europe, according to Brody. The Yahoo blog service is already available in some countries like Japan and Korea.

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