Sunday, November 27, 2011

Yahoo! Pulse Becoming Yahoo! Profile This Week

On December 1st Yahoo! Pulse will become Yahoo! Profile. If you have not already, head out there and make the switch yourself now. (Edit: It is now past the first; keep reading to find out was has changed and how to update your new profile.)

You will be greeted with the below message on Pulse as soon as you arrive.

Take a few moments and read "see what this change means to you"; screenshot here and text below.
Timeline for the New Yahoo! Profile
  • You can opt in to Yahoo! Profile as soon as it's available on November 3.
  • If you want to transfer back to Yahoo! Pulse, you can, until December 1.
  • On December 1, everyone still on Pulse will automatically start using the new Yahoo! Profile.
What Happens When You Transfer to the New Yahoo! Profile
  • We'll transfer your Yahoo! Pulse information for you. There's no work for you to do.
  • Your social games will move to Your apps will move to
  • You will be able to manage your Updates on Yahoo! Profile, but you will not be able to see them on Yahoo! Profile. (You will continue to see Updates on other Yahoo! sites and can continue to view your Updates stream in Yahoo! Messenger desktop for Windows.)
What Happens to Your Connections in Pulse and to Your Privacy Levels
  • When you transfer to Yahoo! Profile, your Connections in Pulse will be discontinued. This will not affect your contacts in your Yahoo! Mail Address Book.
  • Yahoo! Profile will have two privacy levels, "public" and "private."
  • Any information that is public in Yahoo! Pulse will remain public in Yahoo! Profile. Any information that is private in Yahoo! Pulse will remain private in Yahoo! Profile, unless you choose to make it public.
  • Any information that is visible to your Connections in Pulse will be set to "private" in Yahoo! Profile. You have the option to change the setting, if you like.
Yahoo! Profile is now available. Start using it!
Thank you for using Yahoo! Pulse, and have fun with Yahoo! Profile.

All that could mean that Yahoo! has given up on its social endeavors. The new Profile is just that, a simple profile that has information about you. The network of friends you made and activities you used to do with Pulse will be gone, or transferred to other Yahoo! properties. Let's not forget that Google's first public step towards Google+ was with Google Profiles; it is unlikely, but possible, that Yahoo! is following a new path to social domination. The placeholder link for "Community Guidelines" in the footer of the new page makes me wonder.

Once you "Start using it" you will be taken to the new settings screen. Here you can edit your personal information, privacy settings, and automatic sharing options. Review everything by clicking the pencil in the upper right-hand corner of each section to review the data/options. Much more data is there than is seen on this initial look.

Inside each section you elect the privacy of each data point. The default is private for information previously marked as private or for connections only (since connections are going away), and previously public information will remain that way. The only item you can not make private is your location, but you can simply blank out the field if you want.
= Public

= Private

The final product is a very simple profile; mine is live here. Did you see that web address? The first enhancement they should make is to provide a vanity URL, even if it simply equals the users Yahoo! alias.

I am glad to see Yahoo! discontinue Pulse, but the replacement is certainly lacking. It ended up being a mess and didn't work out the way they had intended. Cleaning up the user interface is a welcome change. Although, many people did use it and may miss it. Project Phoenix by AOL may be a viable replacement with some of the Yahoo! Pulse functionality; you can even import your Yahoo! email there. Otherwise users can use Yahoo! Mail, Messenger, and Games.

What do you think of the new Profile? Has Yahoo! made a mistake removing a service you found useful?