Is Yahoo! the New Facebook?

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It's time for Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) to own up to its recent shortcomings -- but its new ad campaign wants to lay it all on you.

A pair of Wall Street Journal tech blogs, Digits and AllThingsD, report that Yahoo!'s new "It's You" marketing push kicks off today.

The global campaign is focused on the site's customized features, something that CEO Carol Bartz hinted at during a recent CNBC appearance.

"The next big thing is that people need a little organization," Bartz said during CNBC's Squawk Box two weeks ago.

She was lamenting the 85% of Yahoo! visitors who never bothered to update their My Yahoo! profiles, thus making the news and information less relevant.

The "It's You" movement is already in motion. Those who have checked their Yahoo! Mail accounts over the past few days have noticed the site's wraparound attempts to become a social network.

The header at the top reveals plenty.

New! Introducing an easier way to stay in touch with friends and family, right from here!

  • See their emails first
  • Get Updates when they share photos, write reviews, and update status
  • Receive birthday reminders!

Users of free email who check their virtual boxes will be asked whether they want to receive updates from three of their most recent email recipients, similar to how Facebook suggests friends. If you choose someone, that person will have to confirm the connection -- similar to Facebook and News Corp.'s (Nasdaq: NWS  ) (Nasdaq: NWSA  ) MySpace.

Even a box at the top teases you with a status-prodding "What are you doing today" query.

Is it too late for Yahoo! to become a social network? Now that MySpace is offering users their own "" email addresses, it's only natural for the free-mail giants -- Yahoo!, Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Hotmail, Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Gmail, and Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX  ) AOL -- to fight back.

They have a long way to go if they want to compete with Facebook's sticky ways, but they may as well start. Facebook added 50 million users over the past two months alone, so time is not on anybody else's side to break things in slowly. 

What would it take for Yahoo! to take on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders what the rest of the world thinks of Yahoo! He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (4)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 22, 2009, at 4:29 PM, madmilker wrote:

    if Carol would get tat geek out of my computer....they could start a NEW SITE with Beetle sayin'....all the bugs and worms are next door at please sit down and feel free to Yahoooooooooo a while.

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2009, at 12:34 AM, tipapabracken wrote:

    thank you so much for the info


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