Yahoo: stick around, we have widgets
Yahoo might not invent the next killer Web product. But the company wants surfers to be able to use online applications, or “widgets,” without leaving the Yahoo kingdom.
In a blog post on Friday, Yahoo introduced a variety of new widgets from third-party Web developers that can be fused directly into Yahoo products.
The average person in the United States visits 85 sites a month, said Tapan Bhat, Yahoo’s senior vice president of integrated consumer experience in a blog post. “That just sounds exhausting. So we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we can ease the pain of site-hopping to help you do more things at once,” he wrote.
There’s a PayPal application that can integrate into a user’s Yahoo mail, as well as apps from personal finance service Mint.com and blogging tool WordPress which can be weaved into a person’s MyYahoo start page. Nearly 20 new widgets are now available for use in various Yahoo products, including a handful of apps for Internet enabled-TVs.
The move to open up Yahoo’s Web properties to widgets was actually begun during the reign of Jerry Yang, Yahoo’s co-founder who was replaced as CEO by Carol Bartz in January.
Friday’s announcement marks the first batch of widgets from marquee companies to be released under Bartz, who has repeatedly stressed that the key to Yahoo’s revival is in improving its diverse family of products.
Of course, Yahoo still has a lot of catching up to do with social network Facebook, which says it has more than 52,000 applications currently available in its Application Directory.