So, I logged on this morning to check on Google for my mother (every day on vacation I get the question of how is Google doing - $403.50) and I noticed that Yahoo Finance has a slightly new look. The new Finance page has links to videos, new charting, enhancements to the message boards, and the ability to download a widget to put charting on your website (see below).
First with the video. I haven't been able to view them because I'm on a slower connection speed ever since I migrated to our shore house, but I think streaming video for financial news is a great move. As a 5 year veteran of financial services, everyone has TV programs regarding the financial markets, so bundling Yahoo's news and quotes with video is a good move. According to CNET, the videos are from ABC.com, Forbes.com, CNN.com, and Smartmoney and are picked by editors. Nice move especially for the smaller content plays like Forbes and ABC.
The charting changes are especially welcome, because I personally used Yahoo for charts. Now you can add in competitors, customize the date range, as well as add in events. Nice. Nothing real earth shattering, but pretty decent if you are researching a stock in Yahoo.
Finally, the most abrupt change was to the message boards which is really Yahoo! Finance's key differentiator, if you are into them. In fact, when you hit a link to read the boards, you get a landing page introducing you to the changes. The changes include rating the posts, sorting on ratings, easier to follow exchanges, and better search. These are all welcome changes, although there are already complaints from heavy users. Besides getting used to the interface (look change is good), I'm sure they are upset when it comes to the ratings. Now, all of these crappy posts can be filtered out and they can lose their audience.
I say it is about time Yahoo made changes to the boards. Look, I'd never advocate buying or selling a stock based on the information there, but it is useful tool to see what other are saying - kind of like a virtual water cooler. Now, with one click you can get rid of lower rated posts. Sure, someone will figure out how to game it, but now it will take a few friends to increase your rating. The community at large will take care of the filter.
Finally, all of the changes kept the advertisers in mind with plenty of positions, buttons, and creative units. I think it is a welcome change, especially the upgraded message boards. Nicely done Richard K.