Facebook streams updates to Yahoo! websites

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The Independent Online

Internet youngster Facebook on Monday begins letting members stream updates to websites operated by Silicon Valley old-timer Yahoo!

Facebook and Yahoo! are letting users link accounts at the world's leading social networking service and the pioneering online enterprise that is re-inventing itself after being eclipsed by Google in online search.

"More and more, people rely on social networks to share and discover information that matters to them," said Yahoo! senior director of social platforms and developer network Cody Simms.

"We are bringing all of these elements together to give people one simple, trusted place to share information and connect."

Yahoo! is bent on carving a new niche for itself by turning its globally popular properties such as free Web email, news, sports and Flickr into the center of people's online lives.

The more time people spend at Yahoo! websites the more opportunities the company has to make money on advertising.

"We think this offers great benefit to users across the Web, and it's key to helping Yahoo! extend our reach and increase engagement," Simms said of the alliance with Facebook, which is based in nearby Palo Alto, California.

People who connect Yahoo! and Facebook will be able to see their Facebook newsfeeds on Yahoo! pages and share content from Yahoo! properties to Facebook.

In an evident move to preempt concerns regarding how the partnership might affect people's privacy, Yahoo! made it simpler to manage what information is shared. Privacy settings can be managed with tools at pulse.yahoo.com.

Earlier this year, Yahoo! announced a deal to integrate feeds from hot microblogging service Twitter into its online offerings.

Yahoo! also has a partnership to incorporate games from Zynga, the company behind "Farmville," "Mafia Wars" and other titles with multitudes of fans at Facebook.

Yahoo! is gingerly expanding social-networking features while trying to avoid privacy stumbles made by titans Facebook and Google.

Yahoo! Updates launched nearly two years ago to let people stream updates about their lives, thoughts or activities at its free Web services such as email and instant messaging but sharing has been limited.

Yahoo! is expanding the feature in its email service to include public updates sent from Messenger and Contacts.

The Sunnyvale, California, company is abandoning the "heavy lifting" of running an Internet search engine, instead opting to rely on Microsoft's new Bing technology to provide query results it will then tailor to its users.

Yahoo! and Microsoft unveiled a 10-year Web search and advertising partnership in July that set the stage for a joint offensive against Google.

Under the agreement, Yahoo! will use Microsoft's search engine on its own sites while providing the exclusive global sales force for premium advertisers.

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