Yahoo (YHOO) has been slowly rolling out various parts of its “Open Strategy” project – letting other companies putting stuff on Yahoo sites – since April. But the company saved some new stuff for a show-and-tell it held today at its Sunnyvale headquarters.
One example: A Netflix (NFLX) widget that would sit on Yahoo’s homepage, on Yahoo Mail, and in Yahoo search results. On the home page, for instance, a Netflix subscriber could check their queue, see recommendations, and add movies, without going to Netflix’s site. Similarly, in search results, you could add a movie directly to your Netflix queue without leaving the page. Slick.
But “Open Strategy” goes beyond just mail, search and the front page: Yahoo’s opening up almost all of its sites, including news, music, and finance, to developers, and the first apps should show up in several weeks. But unlike Facebook, Yahoo won’t be offering its users to just anyone: The company will keep control over who has access to the platform for security, privacy, and quality-control purposes, says Yahoo EVP Ash Patel.
What’s the point? Like Facebook with its widget platform, Yahoo wants people to do as much as they can without leaving its site. That is, after all, the point of a portal, and if Yahoo needs to offer some screen real estate to other companies to keep users happy — and keep them coming back to Yahoo — it’s probably worth it.
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