Yahoo Will ‘Personalize’ Mobile Content

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Credit: Corbis

What’s Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) strategy for mobile content? It apparently revolves around “personalization,” according to two reports today in the NYTimes and WSJ. The company will unveil a platform at the Mobile World Congress next week that will let both Yahoo apps and those of third-parties show users’ different content depending on their behavior and stated interests.

We haven’t seen the platform and don’t have details but the concept nevertheless seems less than aggressive especially since it comes on the day when AOL (NYSE: AOL) made a huge move into content creation via the purchase of the Huffington Post.

While the Yahoo platform may be new, “personalization” is in fact a refrain that Yahoo and its competitors have been harping for years; a key feature of the homepage redesign Yahoo unveiled in July 2009 was the ability to customize the headlines that showed up on a user’s homepage, and Yahoo CEO Bartz has long talked up the company’s aspirations for automatically personalizing its sites.

Executives seem to have foreshadowed this latest initiative during the company’s earnings call last month when they referred to an overarching company goal of providing “increasingly personalized” content.

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Peter Cranstone

You don’t need a platform to do this. All you need to do is add a little more context to the browser so the web server knows Who, What and Where you are. After that it’s easy to deliver a web page that is personalized for the user, their device and their location. Privacy is straightforward – you allow the user to control what is shared via the browser.

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