Yahoo is going to pretty-up search, finally finish its dashboard for ad-buyers, and begin hosting Zynga games, the company announced at its Investor’s Day today.
CEO Carol Bartz spoke at 11 AM and we took live notes.
10:55 – We’re still 5 minutes away from the start, but here’s what the scene looks like:
10:56 – FYI, here’s today’s agenda:
11:02 – The announcer says the presentation is beginning.
11:05 – Yahoo is playing “Why Can’t We Be Friends” by Smash Mouth. Heh.
11:07 – OK, it seems we might finally be getting going.
11:08 – We’re starting with a bunch of TV clips
11:09 – Here’s Carol. She walks on singing, “Why can’t we be friends? Then we could all go home. Can we just agree to be friends?”
11:11 – Carol says revenue projections are coming today.
11:12 – Carol says engagement is falling. She’s going to talk about that first. She says Google, Yahoo, and Facebook lead. She says all three do different things. Google, search, Facebook, social, and Yahoo for content.
11:13 – Carol defines Yahoo: “It’s Y!ou is what you want to see on the screen in front of you as you are managing your day.” You all get different content, different apps, and different layouts. “Why shouldn’t we have 600 million different layouts?”
11:14 – Every 5 minutes, Yahoo serves up 32,000 different modules in the front page “today” slot.
11:16 – She says Yahoo did a trial with Associated Content before it bought them to get local news for Cleveland and Detroit. Engagement went up, she says.
11:17 – Yahoo just announced that it’s going to host and distribute Zynga games. Huge news! Here is release:
Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), today announced a partnership with Zynga that will integrate Zynga’s popular social games through Yahoo!’s global network. The partnership enables Zynga games to reach more than 600 million people worldwide across Yahoo!, giving them access to new and deeper ways to engage with friends and make new ones.
Zynga’s game integration with Yahoo! is part of Yahoo!’s commitment to offer personally relevant experiences to people from across the Web. Zynga games are expected to roll out on the Yahoo! network in the coming months and will include:
Ability for people to play Zynga games and access their personal Zynga game updates across Yahoo!’s properties including the Homepage, Yahoo! Games, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger and others.
Sharing of updates across multiple social experiences simultaneously while playing their favourite Zynga games on Yahoo!
Product integration of Zynga games with the Yahoo! Application Platform (YAP), Yahoo!’s OpenSocial container through which third-party developers can develop applications on Yahoo!
“Yahoo is focused on providing compelling, personally relevant experiences and social games are core to this experience,” said Hilary Schneider, executive vice president, Yahoo! Americas. “Zynga will bring top notch social game experiences to Yahoo!, including through our open platforms such as Yahoo! Application Platform and Yahoo! Updates. Yahoo! will also continue to work with other partners, developers and publishers to bring compelling innovations and experiences from across the web to our users.”
“With over 35 million unique users playing our games every single day, social games are fast becoming a leading source of entertainment worldwide surpassing most television shows,” said Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga. “Our partnership with Yahoo! gives millions of new users the ability to connect with friends and families through games.”
Today’s partnership along with Yahoo!’s recently announced Facebook and Twitter relationships brings together social experiences from across the web and extends Yahoo!’s social strategy by providing multiple places across Yahoo! for people to play social games, access and share information, and connect with the people that matter to them the most.
11:18 – Carol is talking about how she was flying over Europe after the Iceland volcano and she brought up news stories on Yahoo, but found they were too old. So she had to go looking for tweets.
11:20 – Carol is complaining about print and video ads repurposed for the Web.
11:21 – Carol says engagement is about the four Os: Local, Social, Mobile, and Video. (Where are the Os?)
11:22 – “You’re not going to see a handset from us, I hope you think that’s a relief. I don’t want to have an OS, I want to have an application stack.”
11:23 – Carol says Yahoo will announce a mail application today that “you’re going to think is PC mail, but acts like an app.”
11:24 – The big dog of engagement is mail, says Carol. She says its been a bit flat. “What are we doing about it?” She suggest renaming it might happen. She says there will be “photos, videos, smart inboxes.”
11:25 – “What are we doing about monetization? Your favourite subject, and frankly, mine too.” She says let’s start with search. She promises info on Microsoft deal. “We basically have licesnsed out the backend of the search product, the process part of search, to Microsoft. It’s about data centres. It’s about networks. The good news is, it’s 3X the market place by adding the market places together, so the results are more sepcific and richer than before.
11:29 – “That leaves us to focus on the experience. First we’ve got to catch-up, then we’ve got to pass-up. Lately, while search has gotten so pretty…video, slideshows, images…we kind of got behind on that part. You’re going to see a lot more pretty search from us.”
11:29 – Carol says changes are coming to Yahoo search in October.
11:30 – “Please do not print that we are out of the search business! We are in the search business!”
11:31 – Now we’re onto display. Carol says Yahoo will get better at judging the effectiveness of display ads.
11:32 – Carol talks about Yahoo’s investments.
11:34 – She says Yahoo’s content management system needed to be modernized. She says adding Gold and Oil finance feeds to Yahoo Finance took two weeks. “It should take no time. Our architecture is outdated. We’re modernizing it so we can innovate. So we can move. So any editor anywhere in the world can pull out information.”
11:35 – Carol says this modernization process will end summer next year.
11:36 – Carol says she’s figured out why everyone was so curious about “APT” when she joined a year ago. It’s modernized ad-buying. Here’s her gesticulation on the matter:
11:36 – She says APT will bring optimization between guarunteed and non-guarunteed revenue. “APT is ready to go ready to be loaded, and by mid-next year, we’ll have the entire world over on APT.”
11:38 – Carol says she wants to talk about pride. “Yahoo has its focus. It is excited about its future. It has its pride back.”
That’s it for Carol! We’ll keep an eye on the conference and report any breaking news.
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