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Yahoo test new features and homepage overhaul

Personalisation options to be rolled out in 2009

Yahoo has announced it is adding a number of new functions to its email, homepage and mobile search app to bring the best of the web direct to its users.

Many of the features are currently being trialled across the UK, Europe, India and the US. Yahoo said it expects them to be rolled-out globally during 2009.

Yahoo is overhauling the design, content and functionality of its homepage. The new-look website will offer users a 'My Applications Dashboard' that users can personalise with apps designed to bring websites and services to one location. For example, the version currently being trialled includes an email app that allows users to check their Gmail, AOL and Yahoo accounts with just one click.

The overhauled homepage features newsfeeds from Yahoo as well as national newspapers such as The Guardian and The Telegraph. Yahoo also revealed that it hoped to expand this to include local newspaper groups.

Janine Shaw, Director of EU Front Page and My Yahoo!, said: "People are constantly being bombarded with information both on- and offline. We see it as our job to help users organise the information they view online into a format that best suits their needs and allows them to get the most out of the internet".

Yahoo is also adding a 'Smarter Inbox' function to Yahoo Mail. The new function will enable the webmail service to classify frequent senders as My Connections. Once confirmed, emails from these connections will then be displayed prominently on the front page of Yahoo Mail, once the user has signed in. Users will also be able to specify contacts they want to be listed as My Connections.

Finally, Yahoo also said it plans to add a voice-enabled search function to its oneSearch mobile web search engine and also launch oneConnect, which allows users to integrate contacts from a number of social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, and email programs into one place. Should a user wish to send a message to one of these contacts, the application then decides which method of contact - such as IM, SMS or email - is best for that moment in time.


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