Yahoo: Hey, look, we can be infinite and social too

Fresh, mobile-friendly face or lipstick on an aging pig? The jury's out on CEO Marissa Mayer's Yahoo home page redesign

Brace yourselves because the news I have to share is big: Yahoo has redesigned its home page. Yes, it's true, and this one has new CEO Marissa Mayer's fingerprints all over it.

I know you've been holding your breath in feverish anticipation of this ever since Yahoo announced that the darling of Google -- and secret heartthrob of millions of geeks around the globe -- had agreed to take the big chair at Yahoo last July.

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Or perhaps not. In any case, given that nearly all of her predecessors at Yahoo -- the ones who lasted more than a few months at least -- had also redesigned the home page at some point, it was inevitable. I've lost track of how many home page designs Yahoo has been through over the nearly two decades its been in existence. Needless to say, there have been more than a few, and most of them have not been improvements.

Here's how Ms. Mayer introduced the latest tablet- and smartphone-friendly Yahoo on the Anecdotal Yodel blog:

Designed to be more intuitive and personal, the new Yahoo! experience is all about your interests and preferences. Since streams of information have become the paradigm of choice on the web, we're introducing a newsfeed with infinite scroll, letting you experience a virtually endless feed of news articles. Whether you are a sports fanatic or entertainment buff, you can easily customize your newsfeed to your interests. And, to make Yahoo! even more social, you can log in with your Yahoo! or Facebook ID to get articles from thousands of news sources as well as those shared by your friends.

Frankly, the new Mayer Interface doesn't look all that different from the last home page redo, which occurred some time during the Bartz era. The two biggest differences: If you log into Facebook, the home page will personalize itself based on your Likes and adapt over time; if you don't give a hoot about, say, horoscopes or stocks, they will eventually drop off the page.

The other part is that, like virtually every uberhip site these days, Yahoo.com offers "infinite scrolling." You can't get to the bottom of the page because more stories keep filling in the space.

Remember that last time you went to that all-you-can-eat place and kept on filling your plate even though the food tasted like reprocessed cattle offal because, heck, nobody there was going to stop you? Yahoo is now like that.

What's amazing to me is how popular Yahoo remains. By nearly every measure, Yahoo is among the five most popular websites on the planet. According to Statista, Yahoo had nearly 165 million unique visitors last month, up from 147 million the previous January.

Yet nobody I know ever talks about Yahoo the way they talk about Google or Facebook or Twitter or Apple or Microsoft or, er, almost everyone else. Heck, even LinkedIn gets more attention. Yahoo just doesn't come up.

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