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Yahoo details plans to open up Web sites

15 сентября 2008

Yahoo Inc. executives provided an update on the company's plans to open its online services -- including its home page and email service -- to contributions from third-party Internet and software companies.

The efforts, described in a briefing at the company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., range from allowing users to search other content -- such as classified-ad sites -- from within Yahoo Mail to allowing them to access online music download services like that of Amazon.com Inc. from within Yahoo Music. Yahoo also said it will be redesigning its home page to make it easier for users to tap these third-party services, demonstrating how users might add a link to the movie site Netflix Inc. in the right corner of their screens.

Opening up Yahoo's sites and technology has been an important pillar of Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Jerry Yang's strategy to turn around the company since he took over as CEO last year. While Yahoo has described some of these initiatives before, it has showed off only a few new products so far.

Now parts of the vision are becoming clearer. On Friday, Yahoo is hosting a "Hack Day" for developers to start building versions of their service that integrate with its home page or that can be used by Yahoo Mail's 275 million monthly users.

Ash Patel, head of Yahoo's audience products group, said the company is working with developers to roll out the new mail applications -- designed to help users perform functions like sending online invitations or photo albums right from their in-boxes -- in coming months.

Yahoo is one of a number of Web companies seeking to prove how open they are to drawing in users spreading their time across a broader range of sites. Time Warner Inc.'s AOL this week launched a home page that allows users to pull in more content from rival email services like Google Inc.'s Gmail.

Scott Moore, head of Yahoo's media group, said Yahoo's media sites, which include heavily trafficked staples like Yahoo Finance and Yahoo News, have strong track records of drawing on outside content but see opportunities to expand."We are not just doing this open thing because it is the flavor of the month," he said."This open approach is really in our DNA."

On the advertising front, Hilary Schneider, executive vice president of Yahoo
U.S., discussed the company's efforts to open up its advertising technologies to other publishers, like newspapers. She also referenced the company's planned search-advertising partnership with Google as an example of a deal that allows Yahoo to benefit from integrating with outside partners and services.

The deal, which is being reviewed by the Department of Justice as well as some state attorney generals, would allow Yahoo to display some advertisements sold by Google to boost revenues. While a number of advertisers have raised concerns that the deal could lead to higher prices for online advertisers, Ms. Schneider said the agreement would enable Yahoo to sell search ads for queries where it currently doesn't have enough demand from advertisers, using a search for a local flower shop as an example.

Источник: Total Telecom

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