Yahoo has begun switching on its Yahoo Open Strategy, a series of updates resulting in two significant changes for some of its biggest Web properties. First is a social dimension so Yahoo users can follow what their contacts are doing. Second is the ability to run Web-based applications. Collectively, Yahoo hopes those changes will increase the number of users, the amount of their interaction, and the quantity of ads the company can show.
This view shows one of the biggest changes, the revamped Yahoo Mail. Here's the new welcome page, which in the central column spotlights messages from people's contacts. On the left note the "applications" list. And on the right is the "activity stream" that shows what a person's contacts have been up to on Yahoo properties--or other Web sites that feed that data into Yahoo's activity-logging system.
To preserve privacy, people must agree to be each others' contacts.