Yahoo has introduced Yahoo! Buzz, an extension to Yahoo.com that opens up the Internet’s leading starting point by uncovering the most interesting and relevant content from websites across the Internet and bringing more buzz-worthy stories to the homepage of Yahoo!. Currently in beta, Yahoo! Buzz measures consumer votes and search patterns to identify interesting and timely stories and videos from large news sources as well as niche blogs around the Web. Top stories are then given primary editorial consideration for feature placement on Yahoo.com.
Yahoo! Buzz can highlight anything – a major news event, an intriguing video or image, or an interesting blog post – and instead of editors, real people vote and search for their favorite stories to determine the top rated content from across the Web. Yahoo! Buzz ranks the most popular content of the moment using a unique approach that combines consumer votes with search popularity to give a story a Buzz Score. This new initiative creates a lens on what people are most interested in to enhance relevance on the popular Yahoo.com, and help publishers deliver their best content to Yahoo!’s broad and diverse audience of more than 500 million users.
“Yahoo Buzz is a good example of how we are continuing to innovate and open up our key starting points to third party publishers, making Yahoo! more social and personally relevant for our half a billion consumers,” said Jeff Weiner, executive vice president, Yahoo! Network Division. “In addition, we recently announced that we will be opening up our user interface for Yahoo! Search, as well as creating a smarter inbox by opening up Yahoo! Mail, two other key ways that consumers start with Yahoo!.”
“With Yahoo! Buzz, we are building on the recent success of the homepage of Yahoo! and improving consumers’ favorite online starting point, by combining popular stories with the wisdom of real people to determine what is most engaging and relevant,” said Tapan Bhat, vice president, Front Doors and Network Services, Yahoo!. “Consumer engagement with the Yahoo! homepage has increased nearly 20 percent year-over-year, evidence that continuing to open up and provide consumers with direct links out to third party publishers keeps people coming back to Yahoo! again and again.”
Yahoo! Buzz builds on an openness initiative Yahoo! launched last year in which editors began highlighting third-party content from across the Web in the “Featured Today” module on Yahoo.com. This effort has already provided tremendous value for consumers and publishers, representing a first step in the creation of a more open system for Web content. “When Yahoo! linked to People.com’s Sexiest Man Alive coverage, referrals from Yahoo! increased by over 11 times versus the average day,” said Fran Hauser, President, People Digital.
“Getting a link on Yahoo!’s Front Page is like connecting to a fire hose,” said Evan Hansen, editor-in-chief, Wired.com. “Thanks to this program, we got more than 2 million page views in less than two hours from a single headline, helping to drive a 1400 percent increase in Yahoo! referral traffic versus the previous month and enabling us to reach a vast audience that may not otherwise see the stories we publish on Wired.com.”
In its beta phase, Yahoo! Buzz includes content from nearly 100 publishers, ranging from large online publishing brands to small, influential blogs, and will grow from there to open up to all publishers interested in having their content included in Yahoo! Buzz. Participating publishers are given an online ‘badge’ enabling their readers to vote and submit stories to Buzz in real-time. Stories with the highest Buzz Scores will be highlighted via direct links to the publishers’ sites from http://buzz.yahoo.com and submitted to Yahoo.com’s editors for possible coverage on the Yahoo! homepage. Additionally, Yahoo! allows users to submit Buzz stories to social news sites including delicious, Digg, Facebook, Propeller, Reddit and Stumbleupon.
As Yahoo! Buzz evolves, it will form the basis for an open ecosystem of publishers, advertisers and consumers. Yahoo! will develop this ecosystem by building out new syndication and monetization tools that enable publishers to share relevant content, connect to more advertisers and reach a broader audience. For example, a Yahoo! Buzz API will enable publishers to add customized Yahoo! Buzz modules or shortcuts to their sites to showcase their own most buzzed items or other popular stories on relevant topics. Over time, we expect this to extend into a powerful content exchange that connects owners of content with distributors of traffic.