When Marissa Mayer came aboard the sinking ship called Yahoo, she was appalled at the number of developers in its mobile division. There were about fifty developers available and she immediately made changes; she hired more developers, required actual presence of employees for better teamwork and got rid of some dead weight but ironically added more shipload in the form of acquisitions. After two years, her efforts have borne fruit and Yahoo is back and slowly getting back the relevance it enjoyed before Google entered the scene. Yahoo is now actively selling ads natively and is gradually getting back its search power after Mozilla set Yahoo as its default search. Apple is also considering getting Yahoo as its default search engine as well.
Now Yahoo is endeavoring to increase its mobile presence. Nowadays, mobile is where the money is. More and more people are carrying small screens with them wherever they go, consuming content relevant to them, seeing ads relevant to their content and even purposely purchasing stuff with the convenience of a few taps. In order to keep up, with the leaders Google and Facebook, Yahoo needs to get in touch with these people, not just with those stuck at their desks. To do so, Yahoo recently unveiled its own mobile development suite in order to help mobile developers monetize their apps right from the ground up. Mobile will be Yahoo’s saving grace and at the same time propel the company back to the spotlight. Will developers snap this up or will this be another failed attempt?
To find out, we need to know what’s in the can. The Yahoo Mobile Development Suite is a set of tools that include App Marketing, Search in Apps and Yahoo App Publishing for Monetization. These tools are aimed at app makers to help them market their apps and help Yahoo sell their ads at the same time. Yahoo Mobile Development Suite is the product of several acquisitions Yahoo made last year which include Flurry Analytics and BrightRoll.
From just fifty mobile developers, Mayer practically increased that number to over 200,000 through the acquisition of Flurry which has over 630,000 mobile apps built using the platform. But that’s not enough; she needs more to really get ahead. That’s where Yahoo Mobile Development Suite comes in. Mobile developers who seek financial gain with their apps can now easily monetize their creations through Yahoo App Publishing which uses Flurry’s SDKs. Developers can easily integrate Yahoo Gemini ads into their app feeds in various ways that fit into their app designs. Through Flurry SDKs, developers can also easily integrate Brightroll’s video ads into their apps to generate more revenue.
Then there’s Flurry’s Explorer analytics tool which helps developers get analytics data about their apps more easily. What’s more is the tool is free unlike the popular analytics tool Mixpanel. Another tool is Flurry Pulse which will help developers easily and securely send data to their ad partners using comScore without additional code overhead.
And lastly, there’s Yahoo Search in Apps. Yahoo’s quest to once again be a relevant force in search doesn’t end with Firefox and Safari. The company wants to be as prevalent in mobile as Google is with Android. Yahoo Search in Apps will enable developers to seamlessly include Yahoo searches into their apps. Users will no longer have to exit an app to conduct a search for something that piqued their interest within the app. They can stay within the app and the developer gets a premium when users click on search ads. To see Yahoo Search in Apps in action, it is already present in Yahoo’s apps such as Yahoo Mail, Yahoo News Digest and Android launchers Aviate, Solo and Dodol.
Yahoo’s Mobile Development Suite could put a serious dent into Facebook and Google’s own ads and monetization tools. Should Mayer’s program kick in, Yahoo will once again be in the same league as Google and Facebook and the latter companies will be forced to rethink their own mobile initiatives. That will be a mark in itself in the mobile industry.
Here’s a recap of the Yahoo’s Mobile Development Suite:
- Flurry Analytics – free insights from one of the industry’s leading mobile app analytics tools
- Yahoo App Publishing – monetize your app with native and video ads from Yahoo, Flurry and BrightRoll advertisers
- Yahoo App Marketing – Reach your target audience with the Gemini native ad and video marketplace
- Flurry Pulse – Send your app data to partners of your choice with one SDK
- Yahoo Search in Apps – Keep users in your app with Yahoo Search and monetize those moments
So will developers be enticed with Yahoo’s mobile effort? It’s a win-win situation for both parties. With free analytics and monetization tools as well as a wide audience through Flurry, Brightroll and comScore, the answers range from ‘Why not?’, most likely to a big yes.