Head of Y! Mail interviewed
- From http://www.businessinsider.com/flickr-vp-on-mobile-2011-5
An excerpt :
Business Insider: You say mobile usage of email is up. Can you make money on mobile usage if people are looking at Yahoo mail on the native iPhone app, which is pretty bare bones?
David McDowell: You can't monetize it with display advertising certainly, because you don't control the destination. We're exploring other ways of monetizing our relationship with the user that don't necessarily involve serving a display advertisement in the chrome of the email application. We don't have anything to announce today, but we're seeing our users move to mobile devices, we know that's an important trend. We offer free access to IMAP on any mobile device so that's something we're absolutely working at.
BI: So you're figuring out how to stick ads in messages?
DM: I don't think sticking ads and messages on mobile devices would be particularly appealing to users. So what we're trying to do is find a way to complement the user experience and actually make it better for users.
BI: Mail is especially important for Yahoo because you use it direct people to Yahoo sites. How do you combat that loss in mobile?
DM: We're looking at new ways of blending communications and media experiences together. Such as creating conversations around objects, around media objects -- as a way to create more value for Yahoo and for users.
Steve Douty: So envision an app. The native mail client that sits in your iphone, that sits in your Android phone, does mail. It basically is a dedicated app and all it does is take mail -- lets you reply, compose, etc. But it's not going to give you the opportunity to create these conversations. That requires a specialized application, and that's clearly where we will have an advantage over more dedicated clients. People don't just want to do email, especially if they are trying to communicate with others who don't use email -- or who don't use Facebook. There's certainly a fair amount of them as well.
And so, this is an example of an app that you may or may not see Yahoo providing in the future, that is dedicated to that sort of flexibility and communications that you won't see on a mail client.
That would be a first example of bringing that vision of the future of communications (we discussed earlier). Creating groups on the fly to have conversations spontaneously as you do in real life. And to either persist and preserve these conversations or just let them die off like they normally do. That's not happening on an email client that you get with your phone.