Yahoo is joining the social media bandwagon with its overhaul of its main Yahoo app for smartphones and tablets.
Yahoo Newsroom, the new name for the revamped Yahoo app, has social media features intended for people who like sharing and chatting about news topics online. It will expand its news feed with at least 200 dedicated channels, giving users power to choose which one to follow depending on preferences.
Channels include favorite celebrities, political issues, breaking stories, technology and science, among others. Yahoo Newsroom's format pushes users to comment on news items and links that can be reposted from other sources that Yahoo displays for each channel.
While a lot of people are using Twitter and Facebook to share news stories or comment on one, Yahoo says that Yahoo Newsroom will not include posts about the user's personal life but will only feature "public" news.
This new Yahoo app will prioritize stories that have attracted more comments from users. Yahoo Newsroom is divided into three news feeds, namely:
• My Feed - the user's personal news feed based on the channels they follow
• Explore - contains various public stories categorized by topics
• Personal Profile - displays the user's liked and shared posts
Users can choose from a hundred niche categories to follow, known as Yahoo Newsroom "Vibes." Yahoo has already set up several programs in place to prevent news shams from appearing within the app since the Vibes do not yet have human moderators.
"In moving to a very community-powered approach, we wanted to give the app a distinct identity around news and a place where people are going to come to have conversations around news," Simon Khalaf, Yahoo vice president, said during the app's unveiling,
The development of the Yahoo Newsroom is part of the company's extensive strategy to increase social interaction and public engagement on its mobile apps and websites, which are all struggling for advertising privileges that have surged to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
The company's rebranding and overhaul of the Yahoo app is a part of its preparations of being acquired by Verizon for $4.8 billion, following the epic hack in the latter part of 2014 that affected 500 million users globally.
We will be sure to provide an update regarding the app's release date, so stay tuned.