Yahoo! Upgrades Mobile Experience with New 'Yahoo! Mobile' Application

Yahoo! made what it says is a major announcement in Barcelona: Yahoo! content and services are being organized into a new "Yahoo! Mobile" offering. It will apparently present a more consistent look & feel and user experience across platforms than has been true with Yahoo!'s several mobile applications and Internet offerings to date.

According to the announcement:

With a rich design and interactivity that leverages the capabilities of today's mobile devices, Yahoo! Mobile will offer an open environment within which consumers can bring together their favorite content and services from across the Internet. Consumers will be able to:

  • Discover: via results from Yahoo!'s award-winning mobile search, editor-selected content, and new maps tools.
  • Stay Connected: through access to their email and social network accounts from the most popular Web providers, as well as instant messaging, address book and calendar tools.
  • Stay Informed: by bringing together favorite content - websites, sports teams, news sources, RSS feeds, weather, stocks, horoscopes and more - into a single location.

All this is consistent with Yahoo!'s Open Strategy online and thematically consistent with what Yahoo! has been trying to do in mobile up to this point. It's not quite clear but Yahoo! Go, it's mobile client appears to be a casualty of the changes or at least marginalized by the changes. I'll explore this further when I speak to Yahoo!

I wrote early today at Search Engine Land that this announcement appeared to be a reorganization and rebranding of existing Yahoo! mobile applications and assets. I was assured subsequently by a spokesperson for the company that my characterization or perception was incorrect, and that this is a major upgrade.

Yahoo! Mobile will offer a relatively constitent user experience across three categories: the mobile Internet, iPhone and other smartphones. The release doesn't mention it but apparently that latter category also includes Android. 

In addition, Yahoo! is bundling in the Opera Mini browser is its "smartphones" version of the new Yahoo! Mobile client. In addition it's emphasizing its widget development platform, which will make for an iPhone-like apps environment within the Yahoo! application itself. 

Personalization, which was possible before, also takes center stage in the announcement. The mobile Web and iPhone versions will be available next month in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, with other markets rolling out later. The general smartphone version will come out in May reportedly. 

Page views and content will be monetized by Yahoo! display advertising.

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Update: Here's a video demostrating the iPhone version of the new Yahoo! Mobile.