Yahoo! gets personal

Yahoo! gets personal

Internet provider Yahoo! intensified its Australian and New Zealand operation with yesterday's launch of My Yahoo!, a service that aims to personalise the Internet experience.

Hoping to encourage users to become attached to Yahoo! for all their Internet needs, My Yahoo! allows users to select pertinent information from 18 sites around the world and add it to their homepage.

"Yahoo! can't fit everything onto its homepage that everyone wants to see," explains Anna Featherstone, marketing manager at Yahoo!. "My Yahoo! allows people to design their own pages. It puts the control back into the users hands which is what the Internet has always been about."

Custom-made pages are not a new Yahoo! feature; the United States has had the option for two years now. Featherstone claims the local version came about purely because of customer demand. "Users have been asking for it. There has always been a high proportion of Australian users registering for the service in the States but they obviously couldn't get access to Australian information. Now they can," says Featherstone.

Advertisers also gave the idea a big push, citing evidence of increased returns on advertisements targeted at relevant audiences. "If users are served information relevant to them, determined by their choice of material on their homepages, it will be great for advertisers," Featherstone claims.

Users can select from stock portfolio sites, news bulletins, weather, e-mail message centres, bookmarks, Yahoo! Search and other particular sights. "Customisation is the way of the future," says Featherstone. "The mantra at Yahoo! is to create an environment where people can come for anything on the Internet -- we want to become people's Internet homes."

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