Yahoo’s first mobile developer conference, held yesterday in San Francisco, was impressive for a company that a couple years ago was pronounced dead from an engineering and product standpoint.
Relying heavily on personnel from Yahoo’s Flurry acquisition and the latter’s deep penetration into the mobile developer community, Yahoo has launched an ambitious plan to extend the reach of its search, display and video ads through a new Mobile Developer Suite.
The free offering brings multiple products together for app developers to help them drive app installs and then analyze and monetize their traffic and usage. The Developer Suite includes:
Flurry is currently embedded as an analytics solution in more than 600,000 mobile apps. It says it reaches 1.6 billion devices worldwide and sees a third of all app activity globally. For comparison, Facebook said that it had “745 million mobile daily active users on average for December 2014.”
This gives you an idea of Flurry’s (and now Yahoo’s) mobile scale. The company also has formidable mobile advertising assets in Flurry, its own Gemini product and BrightRoll.
One of the most interesting parts of the developer suite is “Yahoo Search in Apps.” This is Yahoo’s effort to syndicate its search box and search ads across the many apps using Flurry Analytics. There wasn’t a lot of time spent on this part of the developer suite at the event yesterday but it holds significant implications for Yahoo search’s revival.
Yahoo not long ago integrated search into its Android launcher Aviate. That’s one promising app. This Developer Suite offering is much more significant. If there’s meaningful adoption, it could mean much more mobile search volume and revenue for Yahoo. That remains to be seen of course but it’s not the hard-to-believe long shot that one might think in the abstract.
It was also apparent from the developer event yesterday that CEO Marissa Mayer, though recruiting and acquisitions, has successfully rebuilt Yahoo’s technical chops. She said that roughly two years ago the company had 50 people working on mobile. Yesterday she announced it had 500.
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