Yahoo!’s 2005: The Year of the Product

I’m just completely amazed at the amount of cool stuff that Yahoo! cranked out this year. It’s truly been the year of the product. While I was only personally involved in a few of the released, it’s great to be at a company where so much exciting stuff is happening.

Here’s a list of significant acquisitions and product launches in 2005. I’ve highlighted the ones I think were the most important.

Jan 10 Desktop Search released
Jan 20 My Yahoo Ticker released
Feb 2 Y!Q released
Feb 9 Yahoo Toolbar for Firefox released
Feb 28 Yahoo! Developer Network launched with Yahoo! Search Web Services
March 10 Mobile RSS launched
March 21 Flickr acquired
Mar 23 Creative Commons Search released
Mar 28 Yahoo! 360 released
Apr 4 Farechase Hotel Search released
Apr 18 Yahoo! Shopping RSS feeds
Apr 26 My Web 1.0 released
Apr 27 News Redesign released
May 4 Video Search released
May 10 Yahoo! Music Engine and Yahoo! Music Unlimited released
May 18 Yahoo! Messenger Beta released
May 25 Yahoo! Movies Recommendations launches
May 26 PhotoMail launches
Jun 6 Yahoo! Auctions becomes free
Jun 14 acquired
Jun 15 Dialpad acquired
Jun 16 Subscriptions Search launches
Jun 28 My Web 2.0 released
Jun 30 Maps API released
July 6 Mobile SMS services released
July 15 Yahoo! Finance RSS feeds released
July 25 Konfabulator acquired
Aug 2 Yahoo! Publisher Network released
Aug 2 Shopping API released
Aug 3 Audio Search Beta released
Aug 12 Yahoo! Video Games redesign released
Aug 13 40% of Alibaba acquired
Aug 15 Health Blogs released
Aug 16 Yahoo! Local redesign released
Aug 23 Verizon Yahoo! DSL released
Aug 29 Yahoo! Mail Search Improvements
Aug 30 RSS feeds from Yahoo! Weather released
Sep 12 Kevin Sites in the Hotzone released
Sep 13 Mobile Shopping Search released
Sep 15 Yahoo! Mail Beta released (based on Oddpost)
Sep 26 Yahoo! Finance columnists
Oct 5 acquired
Oct 9 Yahoo! Podcasts released
Oct 10 Blog Search released
Oct 18 Whereonearth acquired
Oct 24 Richard Bangs Adventures released
Oct 26 Travel Trip Planner released
Oct 31 Yahoo! Autos Custom released
Nov 2 Yahoo! Maps Beta released
Nov 7 Yahoo! Photos, Weather and Traffic available on TiVo
Dec 7 Yahoo! Answers released
Dec 9 acquired
Nov 14 Shoposphere released
Nov 29 RSS Reader in Yahoo! Mail Beta released
Dec 1 Blog Alerts released
Dec 12 Konfabulator upgraded and relaunched as Yahoo! Widgets

There’s two trends I see here – making Yahoo! a platform for developers and building community into products.

I’m looking forward to 2006!


  1. Pingback: Marc Abramowitz » Blog Archive » Yahoo!’s 2005: The Year of the Product

  2. Yahoo is in the process of transforming itself into a “Web 2.0” company and providing greater synergy among its various offerings. When either short on development resources or missing a piece of technology, Yahoo is not too proud to go out and acquire what it needs.

    To me, their master plan is to provide community-driven references or recommendations on top of first-rate services — kind of like human-powered shortcuts. It appears that one’s network is built using the Yahoo 360 infrastructure (network management, different levels of permissions, etc.). While the Y360 application itself (within which there is limited blogging capability) is still evolving, it didn’t stop Yahoo Small Business from striking close partnerships with the top blogging technology – no “not invented here” syndrome.

    Yahoo also “gets” the value of open APIs, like Microsoft (well, sort of open) and Google before them. Google helps to distribute ( over 100 third-party “plug-ins” for Google Desktop Search alone.

    When it comes to pushing RSS, Yahoo is a leader, both with MyYahoo (RSS aggregator) and other RSS-related tools. Consider the eWeek article (,1217,a=165918,00.asp) in which Yahoo’s Scott Gatz talks about their strategy:

    “The lines are blurred these days because the
    consumer is now the publisher and the publisher
    is becoming the advertiser.”

    The blurring of those lines has created new ways
    to make and share revenues. The company’s
    ambitious plan is to use the YPN (Yahoo Publishers
    Network), a product that grew out of the
    acquisition of Overture, to distribute advertising
    across blogs and social networks and split the profits
    with the user community.

    “As a company, we’re helping everyone to make money from
    all these conversations that are happening,” Gatz explained.

    I think sharing ad revenue with everyday users who only create something as simple as a Yahoo 360 online presence, leapfrog’s what Google has done with AdSense. Note: Google is now offering an Adwords API ( Lots of innovation going on at both companies.

    Jonathan Prusky
    (not affiliated with Yahoo or Google)

    Jonathan Prusky
    Software Product Management

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  4. Pingback: Be Proud To Be A Yahoo! « Tony Tam | Cate Tam

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