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Yahoo! to import personal updates from Facebook
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People can now link their Yahoo! and Facebook accounts to view and share updates, a move that will enable the search engine to reach out to a wide audience in the social networking space with its sites and services.

The partnership between the two online majors, announced in December last year, will help Yahoo! add networking features like status update and news feed from Facebook on its services like mail, messenger, Pulse, News, Sports and Finance services.

"People who use both Yahoo! and Facebook can link their accounts, view and share updates with friends across both networks. People who link their accounts can consume their Facebook News Feed on the Yahoo! homepage, Yahoo! Mail and other Yahoo! sites and services," Cody Simms, Head of Yahoo! Developer Network told reporters here.

Yahoo! will also add Twitter by the end of this year, enabling users to keep up with the latest tweets.

The move comes as part of Yahoo!'s efforts to strengthen its foothold in the social networking space, after its failed attempt with Yahoo! Mash, which was launched in September 2007. It was closed down a year later.

Facebook has more than 400 million users globally, while Yahoo! has 600 million users worldwide.

Asked if Yahoo! would again look at starting a social networking site, Simms said, "We think people already maintain contacts like friends, colleagues or school mates through a lot of websites. So, Yahoo! will not build a dedicated social networking site."

However, Yahoo! will work with existing players to integrate other social networking sites onto its website, he added.

By driving traffic, the company will also generate more revenues. It also plans to test advertisement sharing across various social networking sites.

"The idea is to drive more readers to our network of sites by making it easier for them to share things they like with their Facebook friends, some of whom may not have use Yahoo otherwise," Simms said.

Yahoo! Profiles service, a social-networking-like service designed to let users post information and connect with others, has also been re-launched as Yahoo! Pulse.

Yahoo! has a similar alliance with gaming firm Zynga, which owns titles like Farmville and Mafia Wars, to include the games on its network.

With social media like Linkedin, Myspace and Twitter catching the fancy of users globally, advertisers are also focusing on strengthening their presence across networking sites as this presents a unique customer touch point.

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