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Yahoo At CES 2014: Aviate Acquisition; New Ad Products, News Digest & Others


Yahoo Logo

Yahoo unveiled several new products and announced a new unified suite of advertising products at the ongoing Consumer Electronic Show (CES) at Las Vegas, USA. Here is a quick lowdown on all the announcements:

Aviate Acquisition

Aviate Logo

Yahoo announced that it has acquired Aviate, a company which was building a contextual Android home screen launcher based on user’s daily habits. Interestingly, Aviate was acquired before the app came out of private beta. It had raised $1.8 million from Highland Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and others in May last year.

Aviate says it automatically categorizes apps on an Android phone and groups them into various “spaces” like work, home, driving and others. Then it uses various signals like time of the day, GPS, accelerator and Wi-Fi among others to provide relevant apps or links for the moment. For instance, when an user wakes up, it might show calendar appointments and apps like email & Twitter. While driving, it might pop up apps like Google Maps and Waze and when the user is at any restaurant, it might surface tips from Foursquare. [Video Demo]

It sounds quite similar to how Google Now works, except for the fact that this information is directly present on the home screen and also seems to include app suggestions which is not present on Google Now yet.

Yahoo mentions that Aviate will be a central part of its forthcoming Android-based experiences in 2014 and later and they will continue to develop the product in the future.

Yahoo News Digest

Yahoo News Digest

Yahoo unveiled a new app called ‘Yahoo News Digest‘ for iPhone and iPod touch, which will provide a summary of all the important, need-to-know news to users twice per day (morning & evening).

The app has been built on top of the mobile news aggregation app Summly which was acquired by Yahoo last year. Yahoo says it algorithmically and editorially selecting the important articles and identifies the important bits and pieces of information using multi-document summarization. These information bits are called as ‘Atoms’ and will include articles, maps, infographics, Wikipedia extracts, videos, photos and more. [Video Demo]

This reminds us of the mobile app Circa which has a similar approach.

New Yahoo Advertising

Yahoo Advertising

Yahoo unveiled its new unified suite of digital advertising products for premium and audience-focused display, native and search advertising and also mentioned that Tumblr’s sponsored posts will now be powered by Yahoo Advertising. Included in this suite are:

Yahoo Audience ads which allows advertisers to buy ads targeted to specific audiences across Yahoo and other sites. This is extension of services previously available as Genome. Yahoo claimed that advertisers will have access to a comprehensive set of audience data, with the combination of Yahoo data with advertiser data and third-party data.

- Yahoo Ad Manager and Ad Manager Plus, a new buying platform which provides advertisers direct access to Yahoo’s advertising products like Yahoo Stream Ads, Yahoo Image Ads and Tumblr Sponsored Posts.

Yahoo Ad Exchange, a new global ad marketplace launching this quarter which claims to provide premium publishers with more visibility and control over advertising on their sites.

In addition to this, Tumblr has also introduced a new cost per engagement (CPE) pricing model wherein advertisers are only charged for active engagements with their content i.e. Reblogs, Likes, follows or clicks made directly from the sponsored unit itself.

Yahoo Food & Yahoo Tech Launch

Yahoo Food

Yahoo introduced two new media sites - Yahoo Food and Yahoo Tech which have been designed in a digital magazine format. Both the sites feature photo tiles that represent various stories and users can click on any story to expand in place to the full article. After finishing reading the article, users can collapse it and continue browsing the site for more stories.

Yahoo says Yahoo Food will provide food photos, recipes and stories on “the top food trends, the best cooking tools, new techniques”. It has also partnered publishers like Bon Appetit, Epicurious, Food52, Martha Stewart and others for this initiative.

Yahoo Tech

On the other hand, Yahoo Tech is being positioned as a tech news portal for the mainstream audience and is being led by the former New York Times technology columnist David Pogue. Yahoo mentions that this site for regular people who “don’t care about version numbers, chip names, bus speeds, fundings and corporate movements” and will focus on suggesting what users can buy and how they can use it.

While there will be no display ads on the site, Yahoo plans to monetize through sponsored articles, videos, and tips.

Yahoo Smart TV

Yahoo Smart TV

Yahoo introduced the next version of its Connected TV platform, called Smart TV platform.

The company says this new platform will offer consumers highly personalized program recommendations from TV, Video on Demand, and Web services, along with complementary content related to the specific show. The platform is now available for integration into televisions, media players and set-top devices.