Yahoo is taking direct aim at social-news aggregators like Digg and Reddit with a new tool called Yahoo Buzz that calls up the most popular articles voted on by the Web site's massive user base. As part of the Buzz launch, Yahoo is also introducing previews of content on other sites. For example, a search for a LinkedIn user could return links to that person's connections or their full profile; a search for a restaurant could include links to a reservation page or a review. The moves are in line with Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang's wish to open the Web giant's services to third-party publishers.
Buzz draws heavily from the "open" theme. Instead of turning Buzz into a destination site (like Digg or Reddit), Yahoo plans to include the actual content that surfaces on Buzz in its front page. Items that are most searched for and most voted on will place higher. Yahoo's editors will then choose which Buzz stories to include on its homepage, which receives 90 million U.S. visitors per month.
Testing has shown that Yahoo links are a boon to third-party publishers. Traffic to Esquire magazine doubled in the month that Yahoo linked to the magazine's content from its homepage. Participating publishers in Buzz include, The New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post and People and dozens of blogs and online sites. Yahoo's plan is to open Buzz to every site on the Web.