Yahoo! launches Buzz in the UK

Yahoo! has brought its social news product, Buzz, over to the UK to coincide with the revamping of its homepage, as previously reported on Pocket-lint.

Buzz launched in the US back in February 2008, and has risen - through virtue of being promoted by Yahoo! - to being the top social news service online, above independent competitors like Digg and Reddit. Anyone can submit stories, and a combination of votes and other factors like search traffic will then promote top stories to the homepage.

Yahoo! also rolled out its new homepage in the UK today, as planned. The company told Pocket-lint that it considers this to be the "most significant change to the homepage in Yahoo!'s history", with one of its SVPs, Tapan Bhat, saying that it's got "much less stuff" on it.

Acknowledging that Yahoo!'s homepage has a "reputation for being cluttered", he said that the company was trying to merge users' desires for info about both their world, and the wider world, into one place. A new hovering "favourites" menu on the left-hand side aims to fulfil that pledge.

The company is also planning to let the user customise the nature of the news they get. It's testing a "liking engine" (and admitted that the project doesn't have a real name yet) that'll allow users to adjust a slider for how much "fun" or "serious" news they'd prefer.

It won't completely exclude the other from being shown - if a massive plane crash happens and you've got it slid all the way to "fun" then you'll still hear about it - but it'll act as a guide for the kind of content you'll experience. That's planned for testing in August.

Lastly, Yahoo! has bought out a company that's provided several widgets for its mail service. Xoopit's main app searches through photos in your mailbox and puts them in one place for you. Yahoo! told Pocket-lint to expect rollouts of similar services to its other products, too, as a result.