It's Open Hack Day at Yahoo and the developers pulling an all-nighter at the company's Sunnyvale headquarters tonight will have the opportunity to dig into some of the most popular destinations on the Web, including Yahoo Mail. The company this week laid out its strategy for opening its suite of online services to third-party developers, highlighting the flexibility that add-on applications will give the 300 million users who visit Yahoo's Front Page monthly.
"For those 300 million people, that front page is very relevant and engaging," but making it a foundation for new applications is important, Ash Patel, head of Yahoo's Audience Products Division, said at a press briefing this week. "A couple other things would make that front page perfect for them. But what those one or two things are is different for me, different for you, different for everybody."
For example, users who add a Netflix app to Yahoo’s Front Page will not only be able to add movies to the queue but also will spend more time on the page or come back regularly. Even though Yahoo tends to trail Google on its main search pages, Yahoo is a leader on specialty sites such as Finance and News. It’s those pages where Yahoo has the potential to expand. The company said opening Yahoo's sites and technologies has been a key piece of CEO Jerry Yang's strategy to turn around the company.
"We are not just doing this open thing because it is the flavor of the month," Scott Moore, head of Yahoo's media group, said in the Wall Street Journal. "This open approach is really in our DNA."
At Open Hack Day, developers will start the two-day event with workshops that dive deeper into Flickr, Maps, Music, Mail and social APIs. The event continues through tomorrow afternoon.