Yahoo! to go

Launched at a time when there 1,000s of phone models and 100s of mobile browsers, Yahoo! on mobile had 45 million users in the first 12 months.

Yahoo!, 2009

 
Launched in   38 countries, on 3800 devices  At launch Yahoo! Mobile ran optimized on an incredible 3800 devices. We achieved this with our own markup language and organizing devices into classes based on phone capability.


Launched in 38 countries, on 3800 devices
At launch Yahoo! Mobile ran optimized on an incredible 3800 devices. We achieved this with our own markup language and organizing devices into classes based on phone capability.

Add Anything with 2 click personalization  The site had three tabs of content: editorially-driven stories, links to other Yahoo! properties and two click personalization—where the user could add anything..


Add Anything with 2 click personalization
The site had three tabs of content: editorially-driven stories, links to other Yahoo! properties and two click personalization—where the user could add anything..

Global users from December 2008 to December 2009  The uptake of the size was remarkable: from 22 million to 45 million active users in 12 months. 


Global users from December 2008 to December 2009
The uptake of the size was remarkable: from 22 million to 45 million active users in 12 months. 

The early days of web browsing on mobile phones was unpredictable: one phone’s browser might not be able to show text in bold while iPhones and Android phones could render experiences with near-desktop fidelity. Creating compelling mobile experiences in 38 countries for 3,800 types of phone and browser combinations was the hard challenge for Yahoo!, whose business relies on delivering the highest quality web experience no matter what.

In a precursor to responsive web design, we designed and built five classes of ‘templates’—that would account for the variety of HTML support and screen size. We went on to develop an abstracted markup language and rendering engine that allowed us to ‘write once and run anywhere.’ Based on device class, the on-device experience would gracefully degrade. For example, if the phone didn’t support bold, a headline would be shown in all caps, while bold in body copy would be shown in blue.

Usage response was phenomenal. In the first 12 months we grow active user by 105% (m/m) to 45 million (our pre-launch organic growth rate was about 28%).