Yahoo rolls out the welcome mat to developers; Plots major profile integration

Yahoo took the wraps off of its Open Strategy (Y!OS) on Thursday at the Web 2.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Yahoo took the wraps off of its Open Strategy (Y!OS) on Thursday at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

For Ari Balogh, Yahoo's CTO, the keynote was a coming out party. Dan Farber, on scene at the Web 2.0 Expo, quotes Balogh:

"We are taking open to a whole other place," Balogh said. "We are rewiring Yahoo from the inside out with a developer platform that will open up the assets of Yahoo in a way never done before, making the consumer experience social throughout and provide hooks to developers." He noted that Yahoo has 10 billion latent connections across its properties, such as mail, messenger and fantasy sports.

As a person that has a Yahoo mail, messenger and sports account I can attest to Balogh's statement. Balogh largely reiterated comments by Yahoo management on the company's earnings call. The big takeaways:

  • Search Monkey, announced in February, was the first installment of this open effort;
  • Yahoo isn't building a social network, but will use social networking throughout all of its properties.

Also see: How would Microsoft Live Mesh mesh with Yahoo’s Y! OS?

Both of those aforementioned items were mentioned by Yahoo President Sue Decker on Tuesday. The big change here is that Yahoo is using one profile across its network. It's breaking down those data silos--an issue for large companies everywhere.

Yahoo followed up on its blog:

Yahoo! serves more than 500 million unique users every month. We serve 120 billion page views per month. Yahoo! users spend 235 billion minutes a month on our sites. More importantly, some 10 billion relationships exist on user buddy lists and in Yahoo! address books. All that represents a mind-boggling audience for developers.

There's a massive, latent social network within Yahoo!, and we're going to bring it to the surface. We're making Yahoo! more social, but we're not building yet another social network. We already have an incredible social network... we just need to unlock it.

Dan reports:

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," Balogh proclaimed. The front page of Yahoo, mail and other properties will be transformed. For example, the mail welcome page will surface messages more relevant to users and the experience will be contextualized to drive the relevant user experience, he said. Users will be able to add applications from Yahoo and third-parties on various Yahoo sites and pages, including the home page of Yahoo. "We are rewiring the properties and opening up properties in a consistent way," Balogh said. "It won't be 25 or 30 different experiences."

Technically, Balogh will be leaning heavily on developers to create apps--once Yahoo unifies its platform. Yahoo talked of event streams and a transformation that will begin later this year. That's easier said than done. In the meantime, Yahoo has a massive profile integration job ahead.

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