Yahoo Banks On Personalisation To Enrich Its Mobile Product

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PERSONALISATION PUSH: During its keynote address at CES this week, Yahoo announced their acquisition of mobile startup Aviate, a company whose technology categorizes and reorganizes Android apps on users’ homescreens based on user preferences in different contexts, like time and location. So far, Aviate is only in private beta for now, but will be fully integrated into the Yahoo platform later on this year, reports Rethink Wireless. But we think Yahoo didn’t just acquire Aviate for it to be simply another add-on to Yahoo’s services. TechCrunch reports Yahoo spent $US80 million on Aviate, which had only raised about $US2 million in initial funding prior to Yahoo’s interest.

Marketers should take notice. Along with the Aviate announcement, Yahoo also pitched News Digest, its new mobile-centric news offering, as well as a major revamping of its ad platform, in which Yahoo emphasised its efforts to make the platform more coherent and streamline the experience for advertisers. We think this is a logical destination for Aviate’s technology within the Yahoo platform; Yahoo may soon use Aviate’s algorithm to dish out personalised content, while offering marketers an opportunity for more personalised advertising.

Stepping up personalisation in marketing was one of our mobile predictions for 2014, noting that it has particular value on mobile, as ads can be tailored dynamically based on different kinds of data, including past Web browsing, interests, demographics, and location. Soon, Yahoo may be putting this theory into practice. (TechCrunch)

SNAPCHATDB UNCOVERED: The New Yorker has an interesting look at the recent Snapchat security breach, detailing the way the SnapchatDB group of hackers was able to successfully infiltrate Snapchat’s network and unleash millions of users’ profile information. The report also looks at which areas of the country were hit hardest. This gives us a glimpse into the vulnerabilities of Snapchat, but by and large, it also provides broader context for why mobile companies should invest heavily in security. (The New Yorker)

MARKET SHARE VS. INSTALLED BASE: Charles Arthur at The Guardian has provided several detailed charts to visually enhance his theories on device quarterly shipments, in terms of market share vs. overall device installed base. Essentially, quarterly shipments charts tend to detail blimps and changes in immediate sales numbers, but these changes ultimately are smoothed over in the more stable installed base chart. (The Guardian)

APPLE ON THE JOB: More companies are starting to use Apple iPads for corporate productivity, as well as more Apple computers overall. Forrester estimates Apple earned roughly an 8% share of global business spending in 2012, which is up from 1% in 2009 and will ultimately grow to 11% by next year. (Wall Street Journal)

It’s no wonder then that PCs are struggling. Gartner reports that worldwide PC shipments declined 6.9% in the fourth quarter of 2013. HP fell around 7% on its own, while Acer and ASUS must be reeling after experiencing declines greater than 15%. (Gartner)

GOOGLE’S MASTER PLAN FOR ANDROID: Horace Dediu at Asymco recently uncovered that Google earns roughly $US6.30 per Internet user in a year, a pretty decent amount. With that, Matt Asay at Tech Republic surmises that Google’s new real opportunity lies in connecting the 65% of the global population that isn’t yet on the Internet, likely with the help of Android and mobile. (Tech Republic)

MODULAR HANDSETS: Photos have surfaced of ZTE’s modular handset project called Eco-Mobius. In mid-2013, a modular concept called Phonebloks made headlines and then Motorola announced its own modular concept, Project Ara. We may start seeing more modular device concepts in the near future, and they may even become a reality. These devices have individual replaceable parts and are highly customisable from a hardware perspective. With smartphone innovation petering at the top, modular may be a welcomed change. (Android Authority)

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