The Yahoo! Developer Network blog has a post today calling for “innovative and flawless” applications to be submitted for inclusion in a gallery section on their redesigned homepage.

Apps are to be built using Yahoo!’s proprietary development platform, YAP. The YDN post further noted, “We’re working on an array of additional developer monetization opportunities – these will be available soon.” The gallery’s inaugural class includes YAP-built applications from Mint, Lumosity, Flixter, Target, and WordPress.

The YAP premise is fairly straightforward. Styled “a wide open, self service environment,” the platform allows developers to build apps and submit them to Yahoo! with no business development deals or contracts. Developers use their own environments, stacks, and servers and code in any language they like. For the developers, the benefit is instant distribution. For Yahoo!, the benefit is a ton of free R&D and IP.

For users, the benefit is a slew of widgets to make the Yahoo! portal more intensely personal, whether that experience is one of entertainment, education, practicality, socialization, or information. The apps pop into a lightbox-style layout, called “Small View,” on scrollover and go to a full-page “Canvas View” when a user clicks through.

Yahoo! has made conscious and ever-increasing efforts to open themselves to the developer community in what many see as a struggle to remain interesting and viable in the age of the open API. Tools such as YQL, their proprietary query language which we covered in depth, and their YAP application development platform help to foster a sense of relevancy for the aging web giant.

jolie odell