Yahoo Livestand digital magazine service launches

CEO Carol Bartz unveils personalised magazine service at MWC...

CEO Carol Bartz unveils personalised magazine service at MWC...

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has taken the wraps off a personalised digital magazine service aimed at publishers and advertisers, called Yahoo Livestand.

Bartz demoed the service on an iPad at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Describing it as a "digital newstand", she said online content must be contextual and personalised to engage with internet users.

"Content that just comes in a noisy way is yesterday's internet," Bartz said. "Content that is personal and tailored for each and every user is tomorrow's internet."

Yahoo digital magazine Livestand is available across many devices from laptops to TVs

Yahoo digital magazine Livestand is available across many devices, from laptops to TVs
Photo: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Livestand - which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Flipboard iPad app - is designed to work across smartphones, tablets and laptops, tailoring content for the individual device type - including large-screen devices such as TVs, said Bartz. The personalised recommendations are based on the browsing history of Yahoo users and other data the company holds on users, plus device-specific data such as location.

"We have one of the largest private clouds in the world," said Bartz. "Our content cloud is 200 petabytes in size. Every day it grows by 50 terabytes, processes 100 billion events, serves up 4.7 billion pages and 10 billion ads.

"We know what [our users have] been looking at and know what kind of context to serve up to them."

Bartz said Yahoo was able to double the click-through rate on its front pages by personalising the pages to each user. "When we started delivering... 45,000 different experiences every five minutes the click-through rate doubled, because we were delivering something our users were interested in," she said. "This kind of personalisation is very important for the online ecosystem."

"We see a huge opportunity, whether you are on a phone, a tablet, a TV - it doesn't matter what size of screen, that's clear. The screen sizes are just going to be all over the place," she added.

As well as personalising editorial content, Bartz said Livestand gives advertisers the opportunity to serve tailored ads to users - relevant ads are no longer just noise, she said. Bartz showed an interactive HP ad running on Livestand which, once clicked on, folded itself into a paper plane. "If [the iPad user] picked up their iPad they could fly that plane," she added.

The system also ties in with social networking services, displaying any comments the user's friends have made about individual articles or even adverts.

Livestand will use Yahoo content initially but Bartz said other publishers will be using the system within "a few months".

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