UPDATED 11:28 EST / OCTOBER 18 2010

Y-Connect: Yahoo’s Social Strategy May be Too Late.

Aside from integrating third-party services like Facebook and Twitter, Yahoo is planning to launch something like Facebook Connect, which allows third-party sites to embed Yahoo on their page.  The feature is, not surprisingly, to be called called Y Connect, reports Paid Content. It lets you log in with your Yahoo ID, and start sharing your activity at a particular site on Yahoo.

As far as building its social presence goes, Yahoo has already partnered with Facebook, as it uses Facebook Connect for importing activities from Yahoo to Facebook, and vice versa.  Yahoo labeled this an important aspect of their “social strategy” at the time, but it appears to be only a portion of Yahoo’s long-term goals.

The success of Y-Connect depends greatly on whether or not Yahoo can convince publishers to embed it, and whether or not their site visitors will find it relevant.  Jesse Stay microblogs his thoughts on the matter, saying in order “for this to work they first need to build popularity on Yahoo.com. I’m not sure I see the benefit at the moment of integrating Yahoo on my own site. My first inclination, no matter how wrong it is, is, “who uses Yahoo any more?”

Yahoo might not have something like Facebook cachet, but it’s audience still attracts way more unique viewers in the US on a monthly basis compared to Facebook.  This is a strong point that Yahoo still lays claim to, even with talk of an AOL acquisition.  The expansion of Yahoo’s media sites, then, becomes rather central to this social strategy.  Getting publishers in on it is still a major sticking point, however, as Facebook retains the majority of the relevancy for social sharing across the web.  Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins counters Stay’s comments with this little reminder;

“His impulse sentiment isn’t far off, but it still misses the mark. Remember Google Friend Connect? Google has more users than Facebook and Yahoo combined – the problem is that those users have no service associations in their mind that correspond with being social. That’s why Facebook Connect has succeeded where so many other version of the same thing have failed.”


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