Facebook: Foundation For Future Yahoo! And GMail Homepages and Inboxes

Posted Nov 14, 2007

Saul Hansell wrote an interesting article in the New York Times yesterday called Inbox 2.0: Yahoo and Google to Turn E-mail Into a Social Network.  The idea of the article is that Yahoo! and Google are adding social networking features into their homepages (iGoogle and My Yahoo!) and web-based e-mail (GMail and Yahoo! Mail).  â??We believe there are opportunities with iGoogle to make it more social,â? stated Joe Kraus, the lead for Google OpenSocial.  â??It is much easier to extend an existing habit than to create a brand.â?

Brad Garlinghouse, Senior VP of Communications & Communities at Yahoo! mentioned that Yahoo! is working on “Inbox 2.0″  The first idea is that Yahoo! Mail will automatically find out how strong the relationship is to the people that you e-mail and IM.  â??The inbox you have today is based on what people send you, not what you want to see,â? stated Garlinghouse. â??We can say, here are the messages from the people you care about most.

Compared to Google and Facebook, Yahoo! does not have a structured profile builder to draw information from.  For example, the company has Yahoo! 360, Yahoo! Mash, Geocities, and the memeber directory.  Yahoo! is going to add a profile system eventually and collect information from Yahoo! Music and Yahoo! Shopping.

â??If I get an e-mail from Saul Hansell, I should be able to click on his name and see his profile,â? stated Garlinghouse. â??The profile page is where you can expose what you want people to know about you.”