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Yahoo’s socially integrated messaging service, oneConnect

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Yahoo really are pushing forward with their mobile efforts — it really is gratifying to see.

Let’s hear from Marco Boerries, Exec VP of Yahoo’s Connected Life:

“Last year we set out to reinvent mobile search with Yahoo! oneSearch, and today with 29 operator partnerships around the world covering more than 600 million subscribers, we believe we have certainly succeeded,” said Marco. “Now, we intend to reinvent mobile communications through Yahoo! oneConnect, a revolutionary new mobile communications service that will combine integrated mobile messaging with a socially-connected address book.”

The architecutre is open — plus it’s aiming to offer an entirely connected experience, whether your friends are on Yahoo, MSN or beyond. I think this ‘new level of convenience’ could be a real catalyst to converting hte normobs (“normal mobile users”) to use their handsets for more than just calling and texting. Provided, that is, they’re not being stiffed for unreasonable data rates.

Some of the key features of oneConnect include:

— Socially-connected address book – Provide users the capability to integrate activity from popular social networks, professional networks, and communities into their address book, keeping it always in sync. Consumers will be able to view status updates, photo uploads, and the recent activity (“pulse”) of contacts across all their networks.

Interesting, interesting. This could be rather smart, particularly given Yahoo’s ownership of the likes of Flickr.

— Integrated mobile messaging – Offer seamless integration of IM and SMS, including threaded conversations. Any messaging service will be able to use Yahoo! oneConnect’s open APIs to plug into the application’s messaging feature – enabling consumers to access a wide range of popular services, such as Yahoo! Messenger, Google(R) Talk, AOL(R) Instant Messenger and MSN(TM) Messenger.

I wonder how the application will function. I’ll definitely check this one out.

— Status – Give consumers the capability to view their contacts by their most recent status updates on popular social networks, as well as update their own status on their favorite social networks – in one easy step – and automatically broadcast it to their friends.

If they pull together Twitter, Jaiku, Facebook, it could be rather compelling.

— Pulse – Provide consumers the functionality to see a dynamic overview of what friends are up to, including recent photos, their status, profile updates, and recommendations based on their most recent actions on popular social networks.

— Favorites – Keep the people consumers interact with most at their fingertips. Users will be able to set up messaging shortcuts to make reaching out as quick as possible.

— Social contact card – Allow users to aggregate the most relevant information on any given contact, including archives of past communications, detailed pulse history, and one-click ways to initiate communication.

I like Yahoo’s strategy of aiming to be the spoke in the middle of the myriad of services out there.

— Innovative location-sensing technology – Provide new ways to locate, chat with, and exchange contact information with nearby Yahoo! oneConnect users. Proximity alerts will notify consumers when a contact enters their vicinity.

Proximity alerts? Coooooool! Can’t wait to see that working…

— An open communications platform – Give users the functionality to communicate via multiple communications tools – such as IM, SMS, and social networks. Widgets will provide users the capability to access their email across major email providers, such as Yahoo! Mail, MSN Hotmail(R), Gmail(R), and AOL(R) Mail. Additionally, Yahoo! is in discussions with DataViz(R), a company that allows mobile users to access their corporate Microsoft Exchange(TM) email accounts and Microsoft Office(TM), documents, to work together on widget versions of its industry-acclaimed RoadSynch(R) and Documents To Go(R) applications.

Interesting, interesting. We just did a group test between Dataviz’s RoadSync and Nokia’s Exchange service. I know contributor Ben Smith is a huge fan of RoadSync so this news could be good.

It really does look like Yahoo have sat down and worked out a key selection of features that will appeal to the mobile majority. Let’s see how it actually functions, then… we’ll hopefully have more news from them soon.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

2 replies on “Yahoo’s socially integrated messaging service, oneConnect”

Ewan! I was literally JUST about to hit “publish” on a post about this, as well. Glad I checked. I just wanted to add that this is the first Yahoo! product other than Flickr that I’ve actually been interested in at all in several years. I think it’s brilliant that it will be a widget in Yahoo! Go, as otherwise there’s no way in heck that i’ll install that on my phone.

I’m extremely anxious to see how this turns out in real life.

Ricky’s last blog post..Torch Mobile Brings Webkit To Windows Mobile

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