[YALI] Yahoo’s Policy of “Technology First”

[YALI] Yahoo’s Policy of “Technology First”


[YALI NETWORK ASKS] [Suzanne Philion, Senior
Manager, PR & Policy
Communications at Yahoo! [Yahoo’s Policy of
“Technology First”] [“Role of Technology in
Advancing Citizen Engagement”
Panel] [at the Washington
Fellowship for Young African
Leaders] [Macon Phillips:] The
first is for Suzanne, who
is the senior manager for communications at Yahoo. Studies indicate that Africa’s
Internet penetration
is approximately 15 percent. How does that impact or was it a
driving force
behind Yahoo’s focus on technology first? [Suzanne Philion,
Senior Manager, PR & Policy
Communications at Yahoo!] We know that the majority
or a growing majority of people around the world are
connecting with content through their mobile device,
whether that’s a phone,
a tablet, et cetera. And when you look at our numbers
from the
Yahoo platform perspective, we have a total of 800 million
users globally. And so we just announced
recently that more than
half of those people – so 450 million people – are
joining us
through mobile devices. So clearly we’re seeing that, as
are other companies up here on
the stage and all around the world, if
you’re missing that trend, you shouldn’t even be speaking
in the technology space, right? And I think in Africa the latest
figure that
I was putting my fingers on was over 700 million mobile
devices on the continent. That’s incredible. And so I
think you can also look
at those 700 million mobile devices, and the humans who are holding
them, right, and who
are attached to them, as a business opportunity, and as a means to start that
conversation and further that
conversation with corporations. So there’s a way to get at that
citizen-engagement piece: furthering communities,
furthering democracy,
empowering you guys. But by drawing in, perhaps, the
investment that’s needed, when you think about it is a
business opportunity. And we look at this as a global
trend, right?
It’s very important in Africa. It’s very important all over the
world. And as we’re a global company,
we’re trying to follow
where and how people are connecting, building products and services
that match what those people’s
daily habits are, which is how we think of it. The majority of people are going
to their devices
to do a couple of dozen things, is what we see and how my CEO
talks about it. So it’s e-mail, it’s checking out sports scores,
it’s checking the weather, it’s checking the stocks, it’s
sharing photos
with your friends and family. So making sure that we are
building the products that
actually respond to what people are doing
every day. And I think that is absolutely
shaping,
number one, who we’re hiring. You’re going to see —
we’ve already tried
to create an amazing mobile engineering
team specifically, and building up that talent, and
then in terms of how we think about business
opportunities around the world. [MP:] Thank you.

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