Yahoo! Pulse reputation tarnished by Facebook privacy concerns

Yahoo! Pulse reputation tarnished by Facebook privacy concerns

Yahoo! has launched a new service together with Facebook. Yahoo! Pulse aims to compete with Google Buzz.

The WaveMetrix social media tracker shows that Yahoo! users have concerns over the privacy implications of the deal with Facebook.
Our data shows that neither Google Buzz nor Yahoo! Pulse are well regarded by consumers.
Yahoo! Pulse integrates Facebook with all Yahoo services
Yahoo! introduced its new service called Yahoo! Pulse in partnership with Facebook on the 7th June. Yahoo! say the service will compete with Google Buzz by offering privacy tools and social media integration:
  • Facebook compatibility: users of Yahoo! services will be able to share information and contacts across a variety of platforms, including Facebook and Flickr. Status updates posted on Yahoo! services can now be viewed in Facebook
  • Privacy dashboard: Yahoo! Pulse includes specific privacy tools. Yahoo! aims to provide superior privacy after the issues that surrounded the launch of Google Buzz. After its launch, Google Buzz was criticised for not giving users enough control over their privacy. The software automatically mined user’s contact information and publicly displayed their most frequent email and chat contacts. Yahoo! Pulse users will have access to a privacy dashboard. This will allow users to control which applications link to their Pulse account and what information they share
  • Further deals: Yahoo! has announced deals with Twitter and Zynga which will be implemented later this year. The deal with Zynga allows integration with popular internet games such as Farmville, Mafia Wars and YouVille
Facebook privacy issues reflect negatively on the Yahoo! brand
Yahoo! has focused development work on providing a secure platform for its users. However, our research shows that they have not been successful in avoiding a negative privacy perception.
The WaveMetrix social media tracker shows that privacy issues are a main user concern with Yahoo! Pulse. Users express concern that Yahoo’s deal with Facebook will compromise the privacy of their Yahoo! account:

  • Facebook concerns: People say they “dropped” Facebook for “involuntary sharing of information”. So they are “forced to drop” Yahoo! too because of its integration with Facebook. The concerns follow Facebook’s much publicised privacy issues. Yahoo! users worry that if they share information with Facebook through their Yahoo! account, this information will be shared more widely by Facebook. Through its open graph platform, Facebook shares user information with partner sites. Users are concerned about this risk to their privacy.
Users prefer the functionality of Google Buzz
The WaveMetrix social media tracker shows that users see Google Buzz as a more functional product than Yahoo! Pulse.

  • Hardware connectivity: Users like the connectivity of the Google Buzz platform. They comment that it connects well to other Google applications, such as Google reader. Users also like the synchronisation between Google Buzz and Android phones. Google Buzz users can download a widget for their Android phone which allows them to post buzz directly from their phone’s home screen
  • Lack of social media connectivity: Google Buzz does not allow users to connect with other social networks. Many users comment that this is a significant limitation of the platform as users can only connect with other users of Google services 
  • Poor Navigation: Users of Yahoo! Pulse find it difficult to find relevant information. One user complains that “I can’t even find my contact list and their contact details”. Yahoo! users also complain about restricted functionality when interacting with other social networks. Yahoo! users cannot reply to Facebook updates that are visible in their Pulse account, only view them. Users see this as a significant functionality restriction
Neither platform is well perceived by consumers


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