Yahoo Pipes is a mashup building tool. Users can combine multiple feeds that are sorted and filtered however the user wants. The application provides multiple viewing options. Users can create lists of products or add geocodes to review feed content on an interactive map. Widgets and badges are available for use on the user’s website. Pipes available output formats include KML, JSON and RSS. Existing user created Pipes can be explored with a list of filters and tags. Filter options include formats, tags, modules and sources. A discussion area is available for users with questions or tips. Yahoo Pipes can be cloned and tagged. Users can also share Pipes they like on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious and DZone.
Yahoo Pipes beta was launched publically on February 7th, 2007. The application was created by Yahoo employees Pasha Sadri, Jonathan Trevor, Ed Ho, Daniel Raffel and Kevin Cheng. The service was intended to function much like Unix pipes. The service hasn’t been widely discussed across the web but it has drawn the attention of numerous Yahoo users. The discussion board is not overflowing with activity, but it is populated and lively.
Yahoo Pipes is rather unique. The application, which is intended to harken back to Unix pipes, isn’t a service users find many places on the web. Users can work with modules on a blank canvas. The user can choose modules and wire them together when they are ready to utilize the pipe. A drag and drop system makes it very easy to find and apply modules from the Yahoo Pipes library.
Yahoo Pipes has a very simple clean design that utilizes a white background and hints of blue. The style is reminiscent of other Yahoo products. The interface is more utilitarian than decorative, which is a good thing for users learning how Pipes works. The drag and drop system is very appealing for users experimenting with various modules. For the most part, Yahoo Pipes is user friendly however some newcomers may need to take a few minutes to learn how to fully utilize the service.
Users can try Yahoo Pipes by signing in with their Yahoo ID. Users who do not have a Yahoo ID can click the blue “Join Now” link in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. The registration form on the following page asks for a first and last name, gender, birthday, country, language, postal code, desired Yahoo ID, password and two secret questions and answers. Users can also provide an alternate email address, but are not required to do so. The user is automatically logged in.
Yahoo Pipes is available to all users at no cost. There are no subscription fees and the user doesn’t have to commit to any purchases. The Yahoo account also gives the user access to other applications, which may be appealing to some. The service isn’t cluttered with advertisements or other annoyances. Most users can learn how to use Yahoo Pipes relatively quickly. Cost-free access is just one more reason to give the service a try.
Yahoo Pipes is an interesting tool for anyone that wants to aggregate content. The application is unique and offers a simple service with a large number of uses. There is plenty of information and a discussion board to help new users along. Anyone with an existing Yahoo account may find Pipes even more appealing because they do not have to create a separate login to try the service.