Yahoo Unveils Social Features, Starting With Facebook Integration

Yahoo is looking to amp up its social media offerings with a host of new features and partnerships, chief among them a critical integration with Facebook.

Starting today, Yahoo users will be able to link to their Facebook and Yahoo accounts so they can submit and view updates through either platform, including on Yahoo’s homepage and Yahoo Mail. Users who link their accounts will also be able to share actions they take elsewhere on Yahoo – Yahoo Sports, Flickr, and Yahoo Movies, for example – on Facebook.

The Sunnyvale, CA-based company is also simplifying the privacy settings on its Profiles platform, the social media network it launched in 2008. That move comes just weeks after Facebook tightened its own privacy controls in response to user complaints. Yahoo Profiles will also now include a single dashboard from which users can manage their profiles across the Web, including on Facebook.

“We think this offers great benefit to users across the Web, and it’s key to helping Yahoo extend our reach and increase engagement,” Cody Simms, senior director of social platforms and Yahoo Developer Network, said in a written statement.

A Yahoo spokesman said there would be new social features added to Yahoo’s advertising network as well, though details were not clear.

Yahoo also recently announced a partnership with Zynga to bring games like Farmville and Mafia Wars to the Yahoo Application Platform. The company has also made a handful of acquisitions in recent months that upped its social media capabilities: In May it acquired Asian location-based service Koprol following its March purchase of Citizen Sports, which helps sports fans connect online and through mobile.

Follow Douglas Quenqua on Twitter at @DQuenqua.

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