Yahoo News gets integrated with Facebook

The idea is to increase the visibility of Yahoo News content among Facebook users and deepen engagement

The U.S. edition of Yahoo News has been linked with Facebook to make it possible for users of the two sites to share with their Facebook friends the articles they have read on the Yahoo site.

Yahoo, which plans to make the announcement in conjunction with Facebook's F8 developer conference on Thursday, expects the tie-up to drive more Facebook users to Yahoo News, said Jonathan Katzman, a director of product management at Yahoo.

"We'll get a lot more [visibility] for Yahoo News on Facebook," he said.

Another expected benefit for Yahoo is to have visitors spend more time and become more engaged on Yahoo News. "This is going to make you feel you're surrounded by your Facebook friends on Yahoo News," he said.

Adding this social component to the Yahoo News experience complements the site's editorial activities, in which Yahoo editors manually manage content, and its automated personalization features, which tailor content automatically based on certain parameters, Katzman said.

For the integration features to work, Yahoo News visitors need to be logged into their Facebook accounts. If they are, they'll see a Facebook "facebar" placed horizontally near the top of Yahoo News with the profile photos of friends.

Then, they'll be able to see which Yahoo News stories those friends have clicked on, as well as make available their own Yahoo News reading activities to their friends. People's Yahoo News activities will also be reflected back on their Facebook profiles.

The link between Yahoo News and Facebook is an opt-in feature. If they have it on, users can choose at any time to turn it off completely. They can also have it on and delete specific entries from their list of articles viewed that they don't want their friends to see.

Yahoo is also unveiling a link between Facebook and IntoNow, a Yahoo mobile application that lets television viewers discover programs and discuss them with their friends. The integration will let IntoNow users share their TV watching activities via their Facebook profiles.

Yahoo plans to extends the Facebook integration available now in the Yahoo News U.S. edition and IntoNow to other of its media sites later on.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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