Yahoo! accidentally leaked news of a new service to Brad Stone of the New York Times.
Yesterday I received an automated e-mail from a Yahoo employee saying that he had set up a profile for me on Yahoo’s new service, Yahoo Mash. “It’s good to be loved,” the e-mail said.
But it’s no fun to be teased. I followed the link to mash.yahoo.com, which bounced me to a username/password page, titled Yahoo Guesthouse, where my Yahoo login information did not work. I pointed this out to the Yahoo employee, and he replied cryptically over e-mail: “Yeah, I jumped the gun on inviting you. Not yet open to the public… Soon…” About an hour later, I got an e-mail from a senior Yahoo spokeswoman, reiterating that the invitation had been premature. “We are currently testing this alpha service internally with Yahoo employees, as we do with most of our services,” she said.
So what’s the real story here? Did Yahoo! decide to prematurely leak news to reporters about the service in hopes of building buzz for the new site? Is it just a Yahoo! employee who made a mistake? Or is it a bit of both?