Yahoo Inc. is embracing the use of RSS for bringing outside news headlines and Web postings onto users personal My Yahoo pages.
On Friday, the Sunnyvale, Calif., company launched a public beta of a service called RSS Headlines. The service acts as an aggregator of Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds from news sites, Weblogs and other Web sources.
RSS is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) and allows Web publishers to syndicate their content. It is particularly popular among bloggers but also has become a more common syndication method for traditional news sites such as the BBC, Christian Science Monitor and eWEEK.com.
Using the RSS Headlines beta, My Yahoo users can add RSS feeds either by searching for feeds through the service or by entering the URL of specific feeds, according to a Yahoo FAQ about the beta. User then can customize the appearance of the RSS feed headlines on their My Yahoo pages, such as by limiting the number of headlines that appear for each feed. When users click on a headline, they are taken to the full posting on the external site.
Yahoo, in a statement, noted that as a beta, the RSS Headlines service is subject to change and is not generally available. The company did not say when it plans to fully launch RSS Headlines on My Yahoo.
"Because My Yahoo users are savvy consumers of news and information, we constantly strive to provide them with tools and features that enhance their online experience," Yahoo said in the statement.
The RSS aggregator beta, though, is not Yahoos first foray into using the syndication format. It already syndicates content from Yahoo News and other Yahoo services using RSS feeds.
Yahoo is one the first major portals to bring together RSS feeds for users. Other companies have created news aggregators both on the Web and as plug-ins into e-mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook. In addition, NewsGator Technologies earlier this month launched a new release of its Outlook-based RSS reader as well as a new online service for reading RSS feeds.
My Yahoo users can add the RSS Headlines beta module from the RSS Headlines for My Yahoo! (BETA) page.