YHOO 360 too tough for non-techies

| About: Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)

Danah Boyd gets an early peek at Yahoo 360, and says it has problems. Here's an extract from her full review, and why this matters:

"...the controls are really overwhelming. In fact, a lot of the product is overwhelming for the not-technically-savvy and i think that this will be their major problem unless they figure out how to slowly expose things (one of our strongest recommendations). For the techgeek, it will feel like they didn’t go far enough, didn’t have enough features, etc. That’s actually a lot easier to solve than the overwhelming problem and i expect they’ll build new features soon so i think that the techgeeks should wait. But i’m really worried about the novice user because it has many of the problems of blogging, privacy and social networks rolled into one big problem. Plus, you really need to be heavily integrated into the Yahoo network for it to really make sense."

Quick comments:

  • Yahoo's caught in an interesting conundrum. It's user-base is the mass market of non-techies. But more sophisticated products that leverage new technologies like RSS and integrated social networking can be stickier.
  • The key is to roll out products to non-techies slowly. But Yahoo 360 is all about an integrated suite of products, so how can that be rolled out slowly?
  • Yahoo 360 is central to Yahoo's strategy of attracting users to sticky applications. That's why this matters.