Home Yahoo! Rolls Out New Mobile Web Campaign

Yahoo! Rolls Out New Mobile Web Campaign

Today at the CTIA Wireless Conference in Las Vegas, Yahoo!officially announced a new mobile-optimized site and an all-in-one iPhone application. Yahoo! has been making strong moves to reposition itself as a leading mobile web destination for a few months now, and recently they announced a new centralized framework called OneConnect that weaves all of Yahoo!’s disparate properties like Messenger, Mail and Flickr together with many other web services like Twitter, MySpace and YouTube into a single portal page.

Building on that OneConnect core, the big announcement today, is availability of viewing all that OneConnect goodness (and more) on virtually any web-enabled cell phone at this URL: mobile.yahoo.com (if that isn’t active, try this link).


We’ll talk about the iPhone app a little later, but let’s cover the OneConnect technology in a little more detail. From what we can gather, it combines a lifestream aggregator (like FriendFeed), RSS aggregator (like Google Reader), web app widgetizer (like the My Yahoo! or iGoogle start pages) and pushes them through an abstraction engine, which basically makes all that data available for any front-end they care to build on top of it. And that’s exactly what they did.

The new Yahoo Mobile page is that front-end for over 300 different web-enabled smartphones out there. It isn’t just Twitter updates and Flickr photos, but email from a number of services, like Gmail and AOL, and support for a whole mess of other sites like Facebook, Last.fm and YouTube. Since the content is already abstracted, the presentation of that data can be optimized for whatever phone you use it on. In my case personally, I’m using and iPhone and it looks amazing.

iPhone and More

Ultimately, every service you synchronize with OneConnect is stored in the Y! cloud somewhere. So when you do switch to the OneConnect preview app for the iPhone or the official Yahoo! iPhone application (which has OneConnect built-in, more on that in a second), you don’t have to re-enter all the info. Just log in using your Yahoo! credentials and all the latest info is displayed. So why does Yahoo have two iPhone apps that support OneConnect? It turns out OneConnect for the iPhone is a native interface tapping in to the OneConnect back-end directly, while the official Yahoo! iPhone application adds news, events, weather and other useful items together with a tab that loads a slightly more robust version of the OneConnect mobile web site.

This may all sound fairly confusing, but the bottom line is, if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch and a Yahoo! login, all you need to begin is the Yahoo! Mobile app released today. If you don’t want to install a new app or you are on any other kind of smartphone, just hit up the Yahoo! Mobile web page and get started adding all your favorite services.

Final Note

We do have just one tiny complaint before we close. Only one instant messaging service is supported: Yahoo! We would surely love to see some more on that list, especially since other competing services like email are represented. Who knows, it seems reasonable to think that Yahoo! is trying to drive up adoption of their messaging service over the others, and offering everything else in one place is a clever way of doing it.

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