In the world of technology and marketing, we often get to witness how the smallest of technical innovations can make a huge impact on how we work online. RSS itself is a solid example. It's one of the Internet's simplest protocols, yet its applicability and rate of adoption are rivaled by few.
This morning, Yahoo! announced a small step in RSS that will make a huge and lasting impact on the Internet. It will almost certainly further accelerate the already-rapid adoption of RSS.
Yahoo! is putting RSS feeds into the Yahoo! Mail product. See The New York Times article for a quick overview: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/technology/AP-Yahoo-Mail.html
I've been asking Yahoo! for this feature since we started working on RSS here at Silverpop, and I couldn't be happier to see the company putting it in place. Microsoft has indicated that future versions of Outlook will include RSS-reading, but Yahoo! has beat it to the punch, setting the stage for AOL, MSN, Google and everyone else to quickly follow.
For traditional RSS applications, such as reading news or blogs, RSS in the inbox is an important feature. It allows users to get all their major inbound information, both email and RSS, in a single place. The days of separate RSS applications may be numbered as the inbox once again becomes the central command post for a user's day-to-day information.
As important as this is, RSS in the inbox is an even bigger deal for the emerging world of individualized RSS. IRSS allows for fully personalized communications, such as alerts, notices and targeted promotions. In many ways, IRSS "feels" more like email than old-style RSS. Ever since Silverpop got into the RSS business with our RSSDirect™ product, I was concerned that users might struggle with email-like RSS if they had to read it in a non-email program. Fortunately, thanks to Yahoo!, this is no longer the case.
Yahoo!'s announcement puts RSS onto an even larger playing field and makes it even easier for consumers to seamlessly enter the new world of RSS. Mark my words, RSS is now well on its way to becoming one of the most significant new tools in the Internet world.
P.S. If you'd like to read a bit more about the details, check out this article in Search Engine Journal: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/index.php?p=2589