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November 29, 2005

Yahoo adds RSS to Mail application

Yahoo is adding a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) service to Yahoo Mail that it reckons will make it easier for its users to stay up to date with the latest news and information.

By CBR Staff Writer

Yahoo plans to update users’ inboxes with the latest updates of the pages the user subscribed to. Users will subscribe to RSS feeds by typing in the feed’s Web address at Yahoo’s alerts service page or choose from a list on the My Yahoo Web site.

The RSS service will not be available to all users right away as the company has still to do some testing. Yahoo is gradually moving its customers to newer versions of its web services since introducing a series of upgrades in September.

Millions of people have signed up to receive automatic feeds on everything from the international news to family recipes since Yahoo first began providing its RSS service last year, said Scott Gatz, Yahoo’s senior director of personalization products.

Creating an e-mail folder for RSS seemed like a logical way for Yahoo to educate more people about the technology because email remains the most popular application online, Gatz said. This is really taking RSS to another level.

The RSS feed alert service will allow people to receive alerts via email, instant message or SMS message, just as they currently can receive alerts for news stories about a specified topic, stock moves and game scores.

Within a week or so, RSS feed publishers will be able to put a button on their Web sites that will allow people to subscribe to the feeds there and receive them in their Yahoo services, said Gatz. You can get an alert for any RSS feed out there on the Internet, he explained.

There is also a financial motivation. Yahoo doesn’t charge people for its RSS service, but as RSS becomes more prevalent it has potential as a new channel for online advertising.

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