The Facebookization Of Yahoo!

As Facebook prepares to surpass Yahoo in terms of global reach (they already surpass Yahoo! in terms of time spent on the site), Yahoo! has redesigned their site to incorporate Facebook into the homepage. The company is also letting developers create other applications that can be integrated into their homepage. Sound familiar? It’s similar to Facebook’s strategy and it’s an ongoing strategy that started months ago when the company launched the Yahoo! Social Platform.

Facebook is on track to surpass Yahoo! on all metrics in the coming months. The only thing that Facebook doesn’t have is a robust web search engine, although they recently revamped their search offering which is currently in beta. Facebook has some lofty ambitions and current growth charts suggest that the company could eventually become the largest site on the internet.

The company has already surpassed Youtube, the third largest site, and is rapidly approaching Yahoo according to the latest Alexa charts. With Facebook in the rear view mirror, Yahoo! is taking drastic steps to combat the social behemoth. This homepage redesign appears to be a continuation of the Yahoo! open strategy which was first announced over a year ago.

You can add any application to your homepage including the ability to “easily create their own app on the fly by adding virtually any URL of their choice.” Facebook continues to expand its reach around the web through Facebook Connect and that’s essentially what the Facebook application on Yahoo! provides. By letting users access their Facebook feed from the redesigned homepage, Yahoo! hopes to keep users at their site for longer.

However with many popular applications, Facebook has increasingly become the destination site of choice, something that Yahoo! previously dominated. Social games and social applications in general have been a huge hit, essentially morphing Facebook into the “open portal” of yesteryears. AOL and Yahoo! have continued to push the portal strategy whereas Facebook has been pushing one of openness, forcing others to follow suit.

With Facebook sucking up users’ attention from everywhere on the net, it will be interesting to see if the Yahoo! homepage redesign can keep people returning to the site.

-Yahoo! Redesigned Homepage-