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Yahoo! bites! Web! 2.0! apple! with! homepage! relaunch!

US first, then the rest of us

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Yahoo! is poised to push out a new homepage in the US today that will come with direct access to the likes of eBay, Twitter and Facebook, for users keen to flock to those sites.

The revamp will be launched a month ahead of schedule, while tweaks to its search page will follow in August. Users interested in accessing it will be required to opt in, and click on a link to see the new look homepage.

The makeover is gradually being rolled out, with US users getting their hands on it first, followed by parts of Europe and India gaining access to the customisable format later this week.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited “people briefed on plans”, Yahoo! is revamping its homepage “as part of a broader rebranding in late September or October.”

It’s hardly surprising to see Yahoo! attempt to regain ground in the search game, especially following Microsoft’s recent revamp and $100m marketing spend on its search effort Bing.

More importantly, however, Yahoo! is expected to report its second quarter results later today, with some predicting a drop in earnings.

The company will doubtless be hoping that providing access to Web 2.0 apps via its homepage will encourage traffic, and therefore more ad clicks, to its portal.

"We want to be at the centre of people's lives online," said Yahoo's consumer experiences head Tapan Bhat told reporters in a conference call.

"There is a destination for everything you are about in just a click or two. Now we are looking at Yahoo holistically, all centred around the user." ®

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