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Yahoo!Go 3.0 Released And Open To Developers

Yahoo! has released version 3.0 of their popular Yahoo!Go mobile service.20080108yahoogo.jpg

According to their press release (that you may read by clicking here) their goal is to “enable and lead a mobile ecosystem” … “by providing indispensable & compelling services to consumers, developers, publishers and advertisers”.

An old marketing colleague told me years ago that the words in a press release have to be chosen very carefully. If you read again the two sentences coming from Yahoo! you will notice that Yahoo! is going to address consumers (obvious), developers (much less obvious), publishers and advertisers. These are some of the most important entities in the mobile ecosystem.

One important note is that they do not seem to cite operators that are probably one of the key factor that will need to be involved in Yahoo! efforts. A few weeks ago I said that who owns the SIM card owns the Customer and I am still very convinced about that. If this is true Yahoo! may develop the best mobile ecosystem ever but if they do not team up effectively with operators the newborn boy will have short legs.

Anyway the announcement is still very relevant.

If you scroll down the press release Yahoo! shows the four tenets of their mobile strategy. I will report this in the exact order you will find in the original press release.

1 – “Enabling developers and publishers mobilize their services quickly, at high quality and low cost, across hundreds of devices” 

If you have every had development headaches while deploying mobile services to multiple fragmented platforms you will easily understand why this is so powerful. It will free developers from all the issues they have to fight with every single day. It will be much more easire to concentrate on the service and the product instead of thinking about porting the application against twenty different platforms.

This kind of approach is not new to the market. In some way it reminds me of the Widsets initiative that in a smaller scale had the very same goal even if with much less resources compared to Yahoo!

Anyway I definitely agree with Yahoo! point of view when they state that this approach will usher a dramatic acceleration in the adoption of mobile services.

The web site dedicate to developers is very well designed and is targeting developers in the right way giving them the documentation they need, an option to test their code while developing their own widget and a community framework where they can discuss with other developers. You may have a look at the web site by clicking here.

I noticed that the list of supported handsets is really huge and this is dramatically important. You can find the complete list by clicking here.

2 – Delivering indispensable mobile services

This really sounds as a crystal marketing statement. I do not really have comments on this since it is quite obvious. The only note I would make is that I would have not chosen the word “indispensable”. Trying what is indispensable for a mobile user is a very difficult exercise that I would not be very happy to take.

I would have chosen something like “compelling”.

3 – Setting the gold standard for the best mobile Internet experience across the widest range of devices

I always thought that one of the most important thing in a set of mobile applications is consistency in the User Interface and User Experience. Developing using a common framework will help to minimize this problem.

4 – Monetizing the fast-growing audience of the mobile Internet

Show me the money. Yahoo! says that “Many more innovations in mobile monetization tools and services are planned over the course of 2008”. We will have to wait and how this compare to other initiatives like this.

Definitely an interesting news for the mobile market.

An interesting thing is that also Yahoo!, just as Google did with Android, is targeting developers. It is quite obvious that who will able to convince developers to adopt a platform will win this game.