Posts Tagged ‘yahoo’

Yahoo announces digital newsstand for tablets and mobile

February 11th, 2011

Yahoo Livestand

Publishers seek to extend their reach with new technologies, and Yahoo has announced it is also getting in the game with the launch of Livestand, a digital newsstand designed for tablets and smartphones.

In an announcement made Thursday, Yahoo said Livestand will offer a steady stream of new content to consumers based on their interests. Livestand will be designed specifically for new tablets and mobile phones so articles, images, video and ads are optimized for the screen.

“Adoption of tablets and mobile phones is exploding, and digital media isn’t keeping up,” Blake Irving, executive vice president and chief product officer for Yahoo, said in a news release. “Consumers can’t find the publications they buy off the newsstand, and publishers and advertisers can’t reach the audiences they want to serve. We’re in a position to meet all of these needs. Livestand is an immersive environment that provides a dynamic and personalized experience for consumers, and a pipeline of fresh and active content for publishers and advertisers.”

Yahoo says content will be published from its vast content library, including Sports, News, Finance, Flickr, omg!, and the Yahoo Contributor Network.

“Livestand from Yahoo leverages Yahoo’s strengths in content and personalization and re-imagines them into a new kind of experience for the rapidly growing tablet and mobile phone categories,” a company press release touts.

Yahoo’s move to mobile and tablets comes on the heels its of research that showed 86 percent of people use mobile devices while watching TV. By bringing content to mobile and tablets, Yahoo hopes to capitalize on this expanding audience.

Yahoo says Livestand is designed to help people cut through the noise on the Web by personalizing content. Users can select content from specific sources and and factors such as time of day, location and a user’s personal interests will also be taken into consideration when content is published.

Speculation about a personalized news mobile experience surfaced earlier this week, as Yahoo already shows different content to visitors to Yahoo’s home page depending on what the company knows about their interests.

From a design perspective, Livestand promises to offer touch interaction, a sleek design and a “singular focus on content.” The platform will also leverage social interactions. From an advertising standpoint, the digital newsstand will offer targeting capabilities to specific devices and offer an interactive canvas that “brings magazine-style ads to the tablet.”

Livestand will be available for iPad and Android tablets in the first half of this year and mobile phones and browser experiences will follow after.

Study: 86% of people use mobile devices while watching TV

January 26th, 2011

Photo by Eelke Dekker

By Chris Hogg

According to a study published by Yahoo’s advertising division, TV fans are very active on the mobile front. The report indicates nearly 90 percent of boob tube watchers are using a mobile device at the same time.

It began as a passive past-time meant to escape from the everyday, but television today is turning into an engaging experience thanks to that smartphone in your pocket. Be it Twitter, Facebook, email or instant messaging, TV watchers are doing more than watching what’s on screen.

According to stats released by Yahoo/Nielsen, 86 percent of mobile Web users (and 92 percent of people aged 13 to 24) are using a mobile device while watching TV and one quarter of them are looking at related content to what they’re watching on screen. For this study, Yahoo interviewed 8,384 Americans aged 13 to 64. Of those, 5,313 were mobile Internet users.

The study (PDF) says TV watchers use their mobile to simultaneously text family and friends (56 percent); visit social networking sites (40 percent); browse content unrelated to the program on screen (37 percent); email friends and family (33 percent); use mobile apps (33 percent); browse for content related to the show on screen (24 percent); search for info based on a commercial that aired (23 percent); and instant message with friends or family (12 percent).

Courtesy Yahoo

“This data mirrors Yahoo research on PC users, as we see that mobile users often scan content unrelated to TV programming, participate on social networks and send email,” the study reports. “Mobile allows ample opportunity for brands to continue the conversation after the TV ad is flighted.”

In addition to post-program interaction, the real-time Web and mobile apps are changing how people consume content on television. Evidence can be found with shows like Glee or Obama’s State of the Union address where people took to social networks like Twitter to discuss what they were seeing in real-time.

Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, recently spoke about Glee’s use of social media with Kara Swisher, showing how mobile devices have changed the TV-watching experience.

“The characters on Glee actually tweet and they tweet during the show,” Costolo said. “When Glee starts, the moment it airs for the first time on the East Coast, the tweets per second for Glee shoot up. They stay up there at a super high level at hundreds of [times] what they are before the show comes on until the moment the show ends and then they drop. [...] People feel like they have to watch the show while it’s going on because the community is tweeting about the show and the characters are tweeting as the show’s happening so [they have to] watch it in real time.”

ReadWriteWeb notes the Glee phenomonenon has caused viewers to tune into the show in real-time rather than time-shifting or recording it on DVR.

For marketers who want to connect with today’s modern TV-watcher, Yahoo says mobile usage presents “a compelling opportunity for content providers and advertisers alike to complement the viewing experience on the mobile platform.”

[Cross-posted to Future of Media & Digital Journal]

Foursquare in talks with search engines over data partnership

July 19th, 2010
The company behind the social “check-in” application Foursquare says it’s now in talks with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo about a data partnership. Foursquare says check-in data could help search engines enhance results.

Foursquare is a location-based social network used on mobile devices. Members of the service launch an application or send a text message when they arrive at a venue or destination and click on a “check-in” button. The more a user checks-in to various locations, the more points he or she is awarded. The user also unlocks “badges” for special activities and can become the “mayor” of a venue if they check in there more often than others.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley says he has been speaking with “everyone” in the search space including big companies such as Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, about a possible data deal. “Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search,” Crowley said. “We can anonymize data and use it to show venues which are trending at that moment. Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to – and where is trending – not what.”

According to the Telegraph, big search engines deny they’re in talks with Foursquare, but also refused to provide statements to media inquiries.

Foursquare has not indicated when a deal may be inked with search partners, but Crowley said the company is excited about its ongoing discussions with “a lot of different potential partners” who could benefit from Foursquare data.

When asked to comment about the possibility of joining forces with competitor Gowalla, Crowley told the Telegraph, “We are more social than Gowalla and ultimately have different visions moving forward. They are excited about different things.”

Crowley created an earlier version of Foursquare called Dodgeball which was acquired by Google in 2005 and shut down in 2009. Crowley says he remains close with “the guys at Google” and he currently employs a few Google employees.

Foursqure boasts more than two million members and recently finished a $20 million investment round by Silicon Valley venture capital company, Andreessen Horowitz. Foursquare is now valued at $95 million.

Foursquare’s potential data deals are similar to Twitter’s first commercial agreements in which the company decided to sell data to help search engines keep track of the real-time Web.

As critics point out, it would be a big deal for Foursquare if it landed agreements with big search engines, but it may still be too early to pull out the bubbly to celebrate. “It’s an attractive idea in theory, though it’s difficult to see this data being widely useful just yet; Foursquare’s two million users are impressive, but not enough to shed much light on what places people in general are going to,” writes Nick Saint of Business Insider. If search companies throw much money Foursquare’s way, it will be a bet on the startup’s future.

Gannett and Yahoo announce local ad partnership

July 16th, 2010

Media giant Gannett today announced a local advertising partnership with Yahoo. The partnership aims to combine Gannett’s local media brands, sales capabilities and audience with Yahoo’s advertising experience and technology.

As part of the agreement, Gannett’s 81 local publishing organizations and seven of its Broadcasting Division sites will sell Yahoo ads as part of their inventory solution.

The partnership aims to give local advertisers better reach and targeting capabilities based on geography, demographics and interests. Gannet will tap into Yahoo’s targeting and ad ordering capabilities.

According to a press release issued by the two organizations, Gannett’s local media reach will cover as much as 80 percent of the digital audience in each market.

“This partnership builds on the strength of Gannett’s growing digital business and powerful local brands,” Gracia Martore said in a press release. Martore is the president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Gannett. “Working with Yahoo will allow us to offer targeted advertising messages with unmatched local audience reach.”

The agreement also positions Yahoo to get select local content from Gannett.

“Local advertising continues to be an important area of focus for us, and Yahoo! is committed to helping local businesses reach high quality target audiences,” said Hilary Schneider, executive vice president, Yahoo! Americas. “This partnership significantly expands our local offering and gives advertisers the technology and scale they need to reach online consumers.”

A phased rollout will begin this quarter and will continue into 2011.

Google search gets a shot of caffeine with new indexing system

June 9th, 2010
Search engine giant Google announced it has updated the way it crawls and indexes the Web. The company says its new method called “Caffeine” provides better results for those searching the Web.

In August 2009, Google gave a teaser about what the world should expect with the launch of Caffeine. Yesterday the company confirmed the roll-out was complete and Google search is now updated.

In a post on the company’s official blog, Google software engineer Carrie Grimes said Caffeine provides 50 percent “fresher” results for Web searches when compared to the last method of indexing.

For those unfamiliar with “indexing” the process takes place when search engines crawl the Web to find new pages, as well as updates on existing web pages. For a company such as Google, it needs to ensure it has the latest and best results at all times in order to stay competitive with rivals such as Microsoft’s Bing or Yahoo.

As Google explains: “When you search Google, you’re not searching the live web. Instead you’re searching Google’s index of the web which, like the list in the back of a book, helps you pinpoint exactly the information you need.” Here is more info on how Google search works.

According to recent numbers published by ArsTechnica, Google currently makes up about 70 percent of the search market in the U.S., while Yahoo takes about 25 percent and Bing 9 percent. From a global perspective, Google owns about 85 percent market share, whereas Yahoo attracts just over 6 percent and Bing under 5 percent.

Google says Caffeine provides users with the largest collection of web content the company has ever offered.

“Whether it’s a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before,” Grimes said in the company’s blog post.

Google said its new search indexing system was built because the Web is growing in size and new types of content including video, images, news and real-time updates are playing an increasingly important role in the Web’s information space. Today’s Web, Google says, is richer and more complex than ever before.

“In addition, people’s expectations for search are higher than they used to be,” said Grimes. “Searchers want to find the latest relevant content and publishers expect to be found the instant they publish.” Google’s previous index relied on several layers of indexing where some were updated more frequently than others.

As Google indicates:

The main layer would update every couple of weeks. To refresh a layer of the old index, we would analyze the entire web, which meant there was a significant delay between when we found a page and made it available to you.

With Caffeine, we analyze the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally. As we find new pages, or new information on existing pages, we can add these straight to the index. That means you can find fresher information than ever before—no matter when or where it was published.

Google says Caffeine allows the company to index pages on a massive scale (every second, Caffeine processes hundreds of thousands of pages at once). To put it into real-world terms, Google says if Caffeine were a stack of paper, it would grow three miles taller every second.

And from a storage standpoint, Google says Caffeine takes up almost 100 million gigabytes of storage in one database, adding hundreds of thousands of gigs more every day. That is the equivalent of 625,000 of the largest iPods worth of information.

“We’ve built Caffeine with the future in mind,” Grimes said. “Not only is it fresher, it’s a robust foundation that makes it possible for us to build an even faster and comprehensive search engine that scales with the growth of information online, and delivers even more relevant search results to you.”