Yahoo co-founder and chief executive Jerry Yang has unveiled two updates for the web portal.
Yang told an audience at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the aim is to provide users with what he termed " life with an exclamation point".
"We plan to be the most essential starting point for your life," said Yang, adding that Yahoo also plans to "include everyone".
Updated versions of Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Go will be open to outside developers via widget development tools.
The tools will allow for plug-ins that integrate into the Yahoo services, connecting them with outside sites.
Developers for the Yahoo Go 3.0 mobile platform will be able to roll out widgets that deliver content such as auction information or friend requests directly to the Go desktop.
The mobile service is currently in beta on roughly 30 device models. The final version of the software will run on all 300 devices that currently run Go 2.0.
Mobile devices with HTML-capable browsers will also be able to make use of the Yahoo widgets via the browser.
Yahoo Mail will receive the other half of the makeover. As with the mobile service, the new incarnation of Mail will offer APIs which will allow developers to create widgets.
The focal point of the new Mail service is a 'simplify' button for all contacts. The feature collects all contact information from social networking sites and compares it with a list of most frequently received emails to prioritise contacts and messages.
The purpose of both sites, according to Yang, is to re-establish Yahoo as the starting point when logging on to the internet, something that helped establish Yahoo as a premier player in the early days of the internet.
Yang hopes that the email, widgets and networking features can replicate the success of the old search bar and news page.
"The web as we go forward is not just about information and commerce, but about connecting with people," he said. "The goal here is to do it in a very simple interface."
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