Mike Isaac

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Yahoo News Face-Lift Puts Focus on Personalization

yahoonewsYahoo on Thursday announced a new look for its News product, aiming to home in on a theme that CEO Marissa Mayer has trumpeted for the past year: Personalization.

In a blog post on the company’s official Tumblr page, VP of Product Mike Kerns described the refresh as “a more personal, intuitive and modern design.”

“It may look familiar — this new design is one step towards creating a more consistent feel across Yahoo!” Kerns wrote.

To be sure, the new page is in line with Yahoo’s billion-dollar Tumblr acquisition, very much focused on the “stream,” a never-ending scroll of content moving across the page. It will also include relevant, newsy tweets folded into the stream, as a result of the recent partnership between Yahoo and Twitter.

The bigger deal, though, is the personalization aspect. You’re able to sign in using a Yahoo ID, then pick and choose your preferences for the content you want to appear on the page. Over time, Kerns said, the news page will end up learning what sort of stuff you want to see and present you with more of it.

It’s all part of Yahoo’s grand push to personalize content for all of its regular users, so instead of just being a hub for stuff, folks will find it a destination with items tailored to their wants and needs. Mayer, as well as COO Henrique De Castro, have pushed this idea hard. It seems like it’s slowly coming to life.

Expect the new look to roll out on the Web, as well as on Android and iOS devices, in the next few weeks.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald