Yahoo! Groups Changes Interface

Yahoo! Groups has changed their interface. Most of the changes are cosmetic, but notice this:

Members
• We’ve made it easier for you to find and get to know fellow group members. The Members list is now searchable by all members, not just group owners and moderators.
• You can now search for members by Yahoo! ID or alias. (Previously you could search only by email address.)

Translation: Yahoo! is trying to convert the over 1 million Yahoo! groups from simple mailing lists into true communities. It’s a fairly safe bet that this functionality will somehow be folded into Yahoo! 360, recently profiled by danah boyd.. I’m surprised that Yahoo! can make this change without notifying their members, but I’m sure that they worded their user agreement broadly enough to permit this extremely significant change.

Strangely, the Yahoo! user profile form does not include an area to include much of the standard profile information: employer, marital status, etc. I’ve got to assume that will change also soon.

I’ve thought for years that Yahoo! has been underleveraging the very popular Yahoo! groups platform. For example, the ads I get don’t even seem to be terribly (if at all) context-sensitive, unlike Google’s gmail ads.

This may be a sign that they’re starting to exploit this asset.