1079_1Just yesterday Yahoo! Southeast Asia invited the media over to their brand new office in Singapore’s banking district.

Their down-to-earth attitude in organizing a get-together with the media to introduce their new personnel reflects the world-class online media company’s vision “to be the center of people's (online) lives”.

As this edition of Asian e-Marketing is focusing on mobile marketing, I would like to point out Yahoo!’s continuous efforts to deliver new personally relevant and meaningful experiences to their users and emphasize their recent achievements in the mobile arena, respectively.

Yahoo! Inc. extends social and mobile strategy with location-based community

With the acquisition of Indonesian location-based social networks firm Koprol three months ago and a global partnership with Nokia, Yahoo! extended its social, mobile, and local offerings and in addition focuses on the intersection of location, community expertise and mobile experiences that have become important trends around the globe. Yahoo! offers a greatly expanded geographical range for Koprol services and a wealth of educational and entertainment material. Targeting 90 percent of Indonesian citizens who are not online to try the Web via Yahoo!, Koprol enables users to interact and share knowledge about their community in a way that is uniquely tailored to mobile phones. Koprol's service allows people to connect and share photos, reviews, and additional information about locations in real-time using just their mobile phone browser. Once on Koprol, people can "check-in" to their current location and see where others are and what they are doing. The service helps people find local businesses, such as popular shops or restaurants, based on user ratings including a "thumbs-up" feature to elevate favorite places to the top of the ranking. Users can also start or join discussions based on particular locations and invite friends to participate, creating a unique city-based social mobile community resource. Actually Yahoo! plans to leverage the rich community of information generated by Koprol users to make its properties and applications, including its homepage and media and communications products, even more locally relevant. Rose Tsou, senior vice president, Asia Region at Yahoo! said: "Users are increasingly relying on mobile devices to communicate and access the Internet and they are looking for seamless integration between those devices and PCs. This is especially true in many emerging markets, where we are introducing the Yahoo! brand to many new-to-Net users," adding "Koprol was uniquely designed for mobile phones and within a year has already built a strong user base.” Therefore Yahoo! decided to provide the global scale and technology and introduces the service to new markets.

Yahoo!’s new handset and new messaging apps

But Yahoo!’s cutting edge reaches beyond that. For instance, two month ago, during the Communic Asia 2010 Show, Yahoo! unveiled a new handset and new messaging apps aimed at mobile internet adopters in fast-growing emerging markets. I am talking about the Alcatel One Touch phone, which provides direct access to Yahoo! content through a single button as well as its new apps bundle Messenger One along with APIs. Messenger One was aimed at "new-to-Net users," offering mobile registration, a unified inbox covering email, IM and SMS, and a searchable archive, according to Irv Henderson, vice president of mobile and local product development. Instead of having plans to monetize the product right away, Yahoo!’s main focus right now would be the growth of their user basem according to him. And he states further that emerging mobile markets were "crucial" for Yahoo, whose internet ad display business is primarily focused on PC users. Henderson said the opening of the APIs was targeted initially at Indonesian developers, intended to "drive innovation" on the messaging platform.

Yahoo! oneSearch partnerships

Yahoo! demonstrates further global momentum by unveiling the next phase of their mobile strategy for the Asia Pacific region with Yahoo! oneSearch partnerships that serves to reinforce Yahoo!s strong position in the mobile industry. The company signed over sixty Yahoo! oneSearch partner deals in the past few months, becoming that way  the preferred search service on these carriers' respective mobile Internet sites. “This is a great milestone, putting us on our way to our goal of ultimately connecting the billions of mobile consumers around the globe with the best possible Internet experience," said Marco Boerries, executive vice president, Connected Life, Yahoo!

Yahoo! mobile advertising partnerships

Across the fast-growing Asia Pacific market, Yahoo! has entered into a total of twenty-three strategic mobile search partnerships with mobile operators as well, providing the company with an opportunity to bolster its market share of mobile search queries in the countries in which Yahoo! operates. Additionally, Yahoo! delivers the next phase of mobile search technology by launching Yahoo! oneSearch with voice for English speakers in Singapore and India. According to internal metrics, the product has successfully demonstrated the ability to increase the number of average searches per user by over 35% across the same mobile device models after discounting for speech accuracy rates.

Yahoo! Go 3.0

Yahoo! Go 3.0 solidifies Yahoo!'s reputation for mobile innovation by delivering cutting-edge mobile experiences to consumers worldwide and taking mobile services to the next level with an upgraded and feature-rich user interface, a truly personalized start page and customizable access to consumers' favorite Internet brands and services through easy-to-use third-party widgets. Yahoo!'s flagship all-in-one mobile offering, is available for consumers in Australia, India and Southeast Asia for download onto more than 270 mobile devices from major manufacturers worldwide and use it on most wireless networks by visiting http://m.yahoo.com on compatible devices.

By Daniela La Marca