Posted April 25, 2008 5:44 pm by with 4 comments

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In a keynote at the Web2.0 conference yesterday, Yahoo CTI Ari Balogh and Chief Architect of Platforms Neal Sample discussed Yahoo Open Strategy or YOS. The rollout of SearchMonkey begun yesterday is just part of Yahoo’s efforts to join in open initiatives.

Yahoo has talking about open initiatives for some time: last September, Business Week foreshadowed the coming of SearchMonkey. In November and again in January they talked about bringing a social network to your Yahoo Mail inbox. A month ago, they signed on to OpenSocial.

While these look like two different efforts in social areas and open areas, Yahoo unites these areas in their open strategy, and brings in three more areas:

  • Platformization
  • Open services
  • Portability

How many different Yahoo profiles do you have? I don’t even really use Yahoo and I couldn’t begin to tell you how many different profiles I must have: Yahoo 360, Mash, Groups, Mail, etc. etc. Well, as part of YOS, this phenomenon will be no more: Yahoo will roll out a single, unified platform for all their services. They’ll also emphasize the current strength of their platform: Yahoo Mail will be the centerpiece of the new Yahoo.

The move is probably wise: by integrating existing services instead of building out yet another site for people to have to join, Yahoo may well be insuring a high adoption rate for its new social efforts.

Open services
In addition to OpenSocial, Yahoo will also be further developing its current APIs to give developers better access to their platform. Additionally, Yahoo will rollout the Yahoo Application Platform (YAP) to host developer apps for free (up to a certain level of usage). YAP is slated to rival Google App Engine.

That’s right, a search engine/social network/platform that really wants to be committed to data portability. They’ll let developers move data from within the network to outside of it—and not just through portable widgets. An example Balogh gave was integrating the Yahoo contacts list with Plaxo.

Check out TechCrunch to find Balogh’s full presentation and Mike Arrington’s positive take on YOS.

Thus far, there aren’t any dates or specific roll out plans attached to the recently revealed information, so it will remain to be seen whether these promises will ultimately materialize. But what do you think? Will these efforts be enough for Yahoo to be (or remain) a serious competitor to Google?

And perhaps more importantly with a certain deadline looming tomorrow, will these announcements make any difference to Microsoft?

  • After the searchmonkey, seems Yahoo keep trying several new improvement…As long as it gives extra benefits, it could attract more users.

  • Integrating it’s services will definitely boost adoption rates. Yahoo has done some interesting things regarding social media, but using all their options was too laborious and adoption by friends was none existent. But if they manage to integrate all their services, they’ll be offering users a truly unique social media experience.

    Google appears to be close on it’s heals though, connecting independent social media sites through Google.

  • More good moves by Yahoo. They have some strong social properties and connecting them better should keep more people on Yahoo.

    Google has search, but Yahoo can be a strong competitor in social.

  • very good