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Yahoo News: Bartz Fears Facebook; Groupon Rumor; BOSS Paid Service

Danny Goodwin
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Lately, you need a chart to keep track of the talent Yahoo has lost under Carol Bartz's watch. Luckily, paidContent provides just that.

It seems even Bartz realizes she isn't the perfect person for the job at Yahoo, as she said as much during an interview with the USA Today. The transcript was published Friday (the same day Experian Hitwise revealed that Yahoo's search share had dipped to 13.54 percent). Among the highlights:

  • Biggest Competitor: "Facebook -- not today, but they could be. If they keep going, they will have the vault of information on everybody in the world, and that's valuable. [It's] creepy. I don't care to find an old boyfriend. One time, just to see if they got fat and bald, but then leave me alone. But I'm old."

  • iAds: "I don't think in the long run that's going to work. Advertisers will have other options."

  • Intrusive advertising: Oh, excuse me, please. You are getting a lot of value. This is not like a free lunch here. We just opened a data center in Buffalo, and in its first phase it has 50,000 servers. That is not cheap. So the very fact that you get all this great information is part of the deal.

  • Google TV: "It is not a slam-dunk. There's a lot of cable companies that want that business. There's a lot of TV makers that want Internet applications. So it is pretty hard whenever there's a new market forming to say, 'Oh, that's the leader.' It takes awhile to settle out."

  • What is Yahoo?: "Yahoo is the largest media company in the world. We are twice as large as the nearest competitor. We do it through innovative technology and bringing people information they need to manage their lives. We serve up -- and these numbers I hope will astound you -- 10 billion ads a day."

  • Yahoo's weakness: "There's three big places that people go on the Internet: Facebook, Yahoo, Google. We play to our strengths, which by definition means we have weaknesses in other areas."

  • Local: "We all live in a place. You live in small communities, and you are very interested in what happens in those communities from police blotters to what happened in the city council or the neighborhood watch. It is interesting to the consumer.

    And it is interesting to the advertiser because it is the ultimate target. Statistics are 95% of our purchases are (made) within 2 miles of our house, 5 miles of our house."

  • Yahoo vs. Google/AOL News: We not only license news feeds (for example from Reuters and the Associated Press), we also have our own editorial voice. We have human editors watching what seems to be interesting people, and feature that more prominently. So we are constantly tweaking what is delivered.

    For instance, on our front page we have a module called "Today," which is what's happening. Every five minutes we serve up 32,000 different variations depending on what you seem to be interested in. So it is very personal. It is engaging.

    Then we just bought a company called Associated Content: 380,000 writers, bloggers, in all the towns and cities who also contribute to this news feed. So it is a combination of what people can do and what machines can do.

  • Mobile: "We are just neck and neck with Google for mobile installations in the U.S. We don't have an operating system, but we have Yahoo Mail, Messenger, Finance -- all those things. Mobile is huge for us, especially in emerging parts of the world where the only on-ramp to the Internet is going to be through a small screen. They are not going to have a desktop or laptop at home. But for the developed world, I don't think you are going to let this (small) size screen be the only ramp on to the Internet."

Groupon Buy Rumor

Yahoo is eyeing social coupon site Groupon, All Things Digital reports. Groupon is valued at more than $1 billion. However, a deal is nowhere near done yet.

BOSS Becomes Paid Model

Yahoo announced that Search BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service) will become a paid model and the new version will include monetization options and advanced security access starting in 2011.
Other notes:

  • Core web and image results will eventually be powered by the Microsoft search platform. In 2011, Yahoo plans to expand upon these offerings.

  • BOSS will provide full flexibility to blend, stack, and re-rank results. Additional vertical search services will be provided in the future.

  • Developers must access BOSS V2 via the Yahoo Developer Network standard oAuth-based authentication.

  • BOSS V2 will provide a self-service payment model. Yahoo will offer developers the ability to add credit-card authentication at sign-up and to check usage, billing, and other information on a redesigned dashboard interface.

Yahoo Chat on iPhone

Yahoo plans to bring video chat to iPhones and Android-based phones via its instant messaging service, Yahoo Messenger. The company will soon offer mobile app versions of Yahoo Messenger with built-in video calling capabilities.


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