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New Yahoo! UK Products

Friday, 27 March 2009

Yahoo Open House

Yesterday I attended the Yahoo! “Open House” event in Marylebone, where there were some interesting thoughts from speakers, particularly Kristof Fahy, VP Marketing, on audience interaction from a marketing perspective. There were also some enthralling predictions from futurist Ian Pearson, and some great smelling cooking from Sophie Michell (from C4s “Cook Yourself Thin”), which we couldn’t taste due to health and safety regulations. Tsk! Yahoo also gave us some updates, including more information and pre-release demos, on their forthcoming products.

Search Pad

The main product demonstrated that i’d not seen before was Search Pad. Essentially a tool to help detailed (or at least slightly more than casual) online research, this will enable you to bring together information from multiple searches and “make notes”. You can then send, print or save your research via your Yahoo account. Yahoo have a video demo here. I was pretty impressed, but not sure how wide usage will be. Whether they’ll try and monetise it, or just use it as a tool to increase search volume remains to be seen.

Purchase Tracker

Yahoo will be launching their new Purchase Tracker behavioural targeting product in the UK this year (although its been running in the US under the name “Consumer Direct” for some time). This essentially segments users by their online purchase behaviour, and enables you to serve ads to, for example, heavy buyers, or loyal competitor buyers, enabling FMCG companies to target the most valuable customers.

New Yahoo Home Page

New Yahoo Home

The lucky 1% of users may already have seen Yahoo’s new homepage design. It incorporates 3rd party mail accounts (at least in inbox preview format), and you can integrate applications and 3rd party sites into the tabs. Its a much more useful portal site, although how much traffic will something like Yahoo Sports receive, if I can add a BBC Sports link to my yahoo page? I suppose the fact I might consider making Yahoo my browser start page again is the main thing they’re trying to achieve!

Yahoo Lifestyle

Yahoo will also be launching a new lifestyle channel in the UK “soon” (hints about back-to-school advertising opportunities suggest over the summer). With a target audience of 6.4 million women aged 25-44 (of which Yahoo believe they have an 84% reach) the channel will have a community focus, incorporating other Yahoo services like Groups and Answers.

Widget TV

Launched at CES last year i’d never seen a full working demo of Yahoo’s integrated TV widgets. Wow. It’s a game changer. They already have the big-name TV manufacturers on board (the Samsung models reviewed by wsj here), and if they can integrate this successfully with other forthcoming TV technology, then this could be a serious new revenue stream for Yahoo. I’m unsure about initial monetisation plans though, especially as there’s currently no Yahoo search widget!

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