Yahoo calls it "increasing your social IQ," and seasoned social networkers might just call it bandwagon-jumping. We are, of course, referring to the relaunch of Yahoo Profiles—now called Pulse—a massive Facebook connect implementation. The deal makes good on a partnership deal announced in December, and will allow Yahoo and Facebook users to sign directly into their FB account at various Yahoo locations including the front and mail pages.
With 600 million users worldwide, Yahoo's search, IM, email, news, and photo (Flickr) services, Yahoo has plenty to offer Facebook. And with social networks serving as a prime means of sharing news and photos, Facebook is attractive to Yahoo as a distribution network and answer to Google Buzz. What's more, Yahoo has addressed the privacy problem full-on, giving Pulse a single privacy menu that will apply to all of its services. Lastly, the deal has advantages for advertisers, too. Yahoo plans to release tools that let users comment on or share bits of a display ad in a message to friends within their social sphere. These tools will give Yahoo a better understanding on how the information from the display ad gets shared. Yahoo can give advertisers reports that identify the pieces being shared through Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks. The anonymous information includes valuable click-through rates and engagement behavior.
Given that Yahoo was rumored to be making an offer on Facebook for $1 billion back in 2006, this is probably about as far as Yahoo will get in its pursuance of the Palo Alto-based social media firm. Maybe now it's time to start thinking about whether Facebook will buy Yahoo, after its market capital was valued at $4 billion more than Yahoo's on SecondMarket last week.