exclusively profiled the "preview" two months ago and now it is ready to be the default homepage for Yahoo's 500 million users. The new homepage - which utilizes 'Web 2.0' functionality such as Ajax, personalization and collaborative filtering - will display to US visitors from Monday and all visitors of Yahoo.com internationally "in the coming weeks".The new-look Ajax-powered Yahoo.com homepage goes live in the US on Monday and will roll out to other regions during the rest of July. Read/WriteWeb
Localized versions of the new homepage are available in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, UK & Ireland, and Vietnam. Other locations will be added over the coming weeks.
To celebrate, this month Yahoo! is running a homemade video competition. They arranged for students from leading film schools to create video shorts, based on a series of scripts about Yahoo! changing. Also anyone who wants to participate can create and share their own videos - using (if they wish) the Yahoo! logo, yodel and script ideas. People can submit their videos under a new Yahoo! Video category entitled 'New Yahoo! Campaign'. The best of these videos will be selected by Yahoo! to run in ads across its network.
In the press release, Yahoo is calling the new homepage "the most significant re-design of its flagship destination since the site first launched in 1994". Yahoo is the world's biggest Web property (a point they reminded us of recently!), with 500 million users of Yahoo! branded Web properties worldwide.
I said when the preview was released that this new homepage is a big step forward. Indeed I think it marks a turning point in the whole 'Web 2.0' trend. If Netscape.com was a badly managed transition of old-school portal to a Web 2.0 community news site, then the transition of Yahoo from portal 1.0 to version 2 has been done with caution, has not been rushed, and has introduced new functionality subtly. That's the way it should be done - tweaks generally work better than wholesale changes. Kudos to Yahoo for creating a new 'Web 2.0' homepage and managing the transition for its large user base well.